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 [...]
March 6, 1936 Sylvia Vanderpool Robinson, singer, record producer, and record company executive and the mother of hip-hop, was born in New York City. Robinson began recording in 1950 under the name of Little Sylvia.
Tags: Grammy Award, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Jr, Motown Records, National Medal of Arts, record producer, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, singer, songwriter, The Five Chimes, William “Smokey” Robinson
February 19, 1940 William “Smokey” Robinson, Jr., singer, songwriter, and record producer, was born in Detroit, Michigan. In 1955, Robinson co-founded a vocal group called The Five Chimes which was later renamed the Miracles. In 1959, they were one of the first groups to sign with the newly formed Motown Records.
January 11, 1971 Mary Jane Blige, singer, record producer and “Queen of Hip Hop Soul,” was born in The Bronx, New York. Blige spent her early years in Savannah, Georgia where she sang in a church choir. In 1989, she was signed by Uptown Records, becoming the label’s youngest and first female artist. In 1991, [...]
December 26, 1999 Curtis Lee Mayfield, singer, songwriter and record producer, died. Mayfield was born June 3, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. In 1954, Mayfield dropped out of school and joined The Roosters who two years later became The Impressions. When Jerry Butler left the group, Mayfield became the lead singer. The Impressions were successful with [...]
December 12, 2007 Ike Wister Turner, bandleader and record producer, died. Turner was born November 5, 1931 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. His music career began in the late 1940s when he formed a group called The Kings of Rhythm. In 1951, the band recorded “Rocket 88” which many historians recognize as the first rock and roll [...]
November 4, 1969 Sean John “Diddy” Combs, rapper, record producer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur, was born in Harlem, New York. Combs attended Howard University but dropped out after becoming a top executive at Uptown Records. In 1993, he established Bad Boy Records where he signed and produced The Notorious B.I.G., Faith Evans, Mariah Carey, and [...]
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Other African American History Posts
- January 19th in African American History – Wilson Pickett
- April 19th in African American History – Joseph B. Williams, Sr.
- March 16th in African American History – Virginia Estelle Randolph
- October 19th in African American History – Maurice Rupert Bishop
- October 29th in African American History – George Murphy “Pops” Foster