ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: MARCH 28

#1 R&B Song 1987:   “Looking For a New Love,” Jody Watley

Born:   Blues artist Cripple Clarence Lofton (Albert Clemens), 1887

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1953   Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton charted with “Hound Dog,” reaching #1 for seven weeks on the R&B hit parade. (Before Elvis Presley’s version four years later, there was Big Mama Thornton, an outstanding lady who still has not been given her due and respect for the tremendous gifts she has given rock ‘n’ roll. Willie Mae’s is the best definitive version of this classic song. “Hound Dog”….real rhythm and blues, real rock ‘n’ roll at its greatest. Work it Willie Mae, work it! And bow-wow to you, too!

 

1956   The Five Satins legendary love song, “In the Still of the Night” was released on its original label, Standord. It was soon reissued on the larger Ember label, reaching #24 pop, #3 R&B. (Fred Parris, leader of the group, had written the song in 1955, which the group later recorded in the basement of a local church.)

 

1967   The Murray the K Easter Show at the RKO theater in New York featured the Miracles.

1970   The Moments charted with “Love On a Two-Way Street,” reaching #1 R&B for five weeks and #3 pop. The New Jersey trio had thirty-nine R&B hits between 1968 and 1988 but this was the biggest. (I remember hearing this song on the radio when I was a child. That voice of the lead singer, those lyrics  “I found love on a two-way street….and lost it on a lonely highway….true love will never die“……made this a very out-of-the-ordinary song. I remember making fun of the lyrics in jest to my older sister, but, she loved the song. Even now, I still have fond memories of this song and it definitely is still a keeper ;)

 

1974   Bluesman Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup died today after a massive heart attack. The man who launched Elvis Presley’s career with his song “That’s Alright Mama,” had six chart hits in the ’40s and performed with the likes of Sonny Boy Williamson, Elmore James, and Lightnin’ Hopkins. He was so discontented and broke from his music-business experiences that he quit in the ’50s to farm sweet potatoes in Mississippi. He was sixty-eight.

File:Arthur Big Boy Crudup (blues musician).jpg
Arthur Crudup at the College of Commerce, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1969 (Photo by Phil Wright).

1981   Rick James charted with “Give It to Me, Baby,” which would become his second R&B #1 (#40 pop). (Whatever anyone may say about Rick James, you have to give the man mad props. Rick was definitely off the chain on this song :)

1988   Tina Turner’s Break Every Rule tour ended today in Osaka, Japan, after she performed 230 dates in twenty-five countries, playing to more than 3 million people.

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