#1 R&B Song 1953:   “Money Honey” the Drifters


Born:   Berry Gordy, Jr., 1929; R. B. Greaves, 1944; Dawn Robinson (En Vogue), 1968




1929   Berry Gordy, Jr., founder of Motown Records, was born. Though he is best known as a pioneering executive who built a record, publishing and touring empire, Gordy’s start was as a songwriter. He wrote several songs for a young Jackie Wilson, who just left the Dominoes and was signed to Brunswick Records, including “Reet Petite,” “I’d Be Satisfied,” “That’s Why (I Love You So),” and “To Be Loved.” He also wrote and produced Marv Johnson & the Miracles. These achievements gave Gordy the confidence to build a successful company, and with an $800 loan from his family he did just that. . . .and more.


1953   Billy Ward & the Dominoes charted R&B with “Rags To Riches,” peaking at #2. Their lead singer at the time was Jackie Wilson, as Billy Ward never sang lead. In fact, he rarely sang at all:  he was the group’s founder and musical director, and the original members were mostly students from his music class in New York City.


1960   Hank Ballard & The Midnighters’ “Hoochie Coochie Coo” was released, reaching #23 pop and #3 R&B.


1964   Dionne Warwick and the Isley Brothers performed on Britain’s Thank Your Lucky Stars TV show.


1992   Thirty-six years after the Five Satins origial legendary hit, Boyz II Men’s remake of “In The Still Of The Night” charted, soaring to #3 pop, #4 R&B. The feat was all the more impressive in the rap era as the Boyz sang the recording a cappella.


1992   Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” reached #1 R&B for eleven weeks and #1 pop for fourteen weeks. The original version of the song was by Dolly Parton in 1982. Kevin Costner, Houston’s costar in The Bodyguard, suggested she record it. It would become her biggest hit.


 From the book, “On This Day In Black Music History”, by Jay Warner.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s