Tag Archives | Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
Ornette Coleman

Ornette Coleman – March 9th in African American History

March 9, 1930 Ornette Coleman, jazz saxophonist, trumpeter and composer, was born in Fort Worth, Texas. Coleman began touring with rhythm and blues shows in 1949 and in 1958 led his first recording session, “Something Else!!!!: The Music of Ornette Coleman.”

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Mary Violet Leontyne Price

Mary Violet Leontyne Price – February 10th in African American History

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.”

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John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie – January 6th in African American History

January 6, 1993 John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie, jazz trumpeter, bandleader, singer, and composer, died. Gillespie was born October 21, 1917 in Cheraw, South Carolina. By the age of four, he had started to play the piano. He also taught himself to play the trombone and the trumpet. His first professional job was with the Frank […]

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Fats Waller

Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller – December 15th in African American History

December 15, 1943 Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller, jazz pianist, organist and composer, died. Waller was born May 21, 1904 in New York City. He started playing the piano at the age of six. At the age of 14, he was playing the organ at Harlem’s Lincoln Theater and within 12 months had composed his first […]

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Paul LeRoy Bustill Robeson

Paul LeRoy Bustill Robeson – January 23rd in African American History

January 23, 1976 Paul LeRoy Bustill Robeson, concert singer, scholar, stage and film actor, athlete, and multi-lingual orator, died. Robeson was born April 9, 1898 in Princeton, New Jersey. He won a full academic scholarship to Rutgers University, the third African American student accepted at Rutgers. Although he was the only black student on campus […]

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Bo Diddley

December 30th in African American History – Elias Otha Bates (Bo Diddley)

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 […]

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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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