Black Music Month originated in 1979. President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the month of June as Black Music Month to celebrate the great music, achievements, births, important timelines, events and to remember those we’ve lost.
1. Lafayette Leake
1919:Blues & jazz pianist, organist, vocalist & composer Lafayette Leake was born on this day. He played for Chess Records as a session musician, and as a member of the Big Three Trio, during the formative years of Chicago blues. He passed away in 1990. (Photo: YouTube)
2. Marie Knight
1925:Born this day, Marie Knight, a gospel singer who came to fame singing duets with gospel-music star Sister Rosetta Tharpe in the late 1940s and made a noteworthy late-in-life comeback as a solo artist. She passed away in 2009. (Photo: Tumblr)
3. Morgan Freeman
1937:Happy Birthday to Morgan Freeman who turns 77 today. Freeman began his acting career on stage and off Broadway as a singer & dancer.
4. The Ink Spots
1946:The Ink Spots entered the charts with another hit ‘The Gypsy.’ and It went to Number 1 on the R&B Charts for three weeks and Number One on the Pop Charts for 13 weeks. (Photo: YouTube)
5. Sonny Boy Williams
1948: Blues harmonica player & singer and the first to use the name Sonny Boy Williamson was killed in a robbery on Chicago’s South Side as he walked home from a performance. He was 34 years old. (Photo: Tumblr)
6. The Flamingos
1959:‘I Only Have Eyes for You’ by the Flamingos charted. The Flamingos was a R&B (Doo Wop) group, formed in Chicago and was renowned for producing the tightest and most gorgeous harmonies of that era. (Photo: YouTube)
7. Jackie Wilson
1962:The Apollo Theater’s entertainment lineup on this day; Jackie Wilson, The ‘5’ Royales, Big Maybelle and the Corsairs.
8. The Chiffons
1963: The Chiffons, four teenagers from the Bronx, NY charted with “One Fine Day’ which went on to #5 on the Pop Charts.
9. Jimmy Soul
1963:’If You Wanna Be Happy’ by Jimmy Soul was #1 song this day.
10. William DeVaughn
1974:The Number 1 R&B song on this day was ‘Be Thankful for What You Got’ by William DeVaughn. (Photo: YouTube)
11. David Ruffin
1991:Talented singer & musician David Ruffin passed away from an adverse reaction to drugs (Cocaine) at age 50. (Photo: Tumblr)
1991:Seal’s self-titled debut album reached Number 1 in Britain during its first week on the charts. (Photo: AP)
13. Lionel Richie
1994:Lionel Richie was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame during their 25th annual awards in New York City.
14. Tony Thompson
2007: R&B/soul singer and the lead vocalist of the R&B group Hi-Five, Tony Thompson, passed away at age 31. He died from “toxic effects of chlorofluorocarbon,” or accidentally inhaling a toxic amount of Freon. (Photo: YouTube)
15. Faruq Z. Bey
2012:Jazz saxophonist & composer Faruq Z. Bey passed away at age 70. (Photo: Tumblr)