October 29, 1945 Beatrice Melba Smith (Melba Moore), R&B singer and actress, was born in New York City. Moore earned a bachelor’s degree in musical education from Montclair State Teacher’s College and taught music for a year in the Newark Public School System. She began her performing career in 1967 in the cast of “Hair.”
August 30, 2009 Marie Roach Knight, gospel and R&B singer, died. Knight was born June 1, 1920 in Sanford, Florida. She first toured with evangelist Frances Robinson. In 1946, she made her first recordings as a member of The Sunset Four. That same year, Knight met Sister Rosetta Tharp, and they performed and recorded together [...]
July 1, 2005 Luther Ronzoni Vandross, R&B singer, songwriter, and producer, died. Vandross was born April 20, 1951 in New York City. He began playing the piano at the age of three and was performing with groups in high school. He attended Western Michigan University for a year before dropping out to pursue a music [...]
May 26, 1968 William Edward John (Little Willie John), R&B singer, died in Washington State Prison, where he was serving time for a 1966 conviction of manslaughter. John was born November 15, 1937 in Cullendale, Arkansas but raised in Detroit, Michigan. John initially sang in his family’s gospel quintet, The United Four. As a teenager, [...]
November 8, 1974 Ivory Joe Hunter, R&B singer, songwriter and pianist, died. Hunter was born October 10, 1914 in Kirbyville, Texas and was a talented pianist by the age of 13. In the mid-1940s, he wrote and recorded his first song, “Blues at Sunrise,” which became a minor hit.
September 30, 1954 Patrice Louise Rushen, R&B singer, songwriter, composer and pianist, was born in Los Angeles, California. At a young age, Rushen was considered a child prodigy. At the age of 18, she won at competition at the 1972 Monterey Jazz Festival. Rushin earned a bachelor’s degree in music education and piano performance from [...]
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Previous Days in African American History
Other African American History Posts
- March 23rd in African American History – Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Jr.
- September 9th in African American History – Wilsonia Benita Driver (Sonia Sanchez)
- December 4th in African American History – Fred Hampton, Sr.
- June 26th in African American History – James Weldon Johnson
- July 30th in African American History – John Garang de Mabior