ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: DECEMBER 29

#1 R&B Song 1962:   “You Are My Sunshine,: Ray Charles

 

Born:   Patti Drew, 1944; Yvonne Elliman, 1951

 

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1954   The Nutmegs’ “A Story Untold” (#2 R&B) was released. It took six months to hit the national charts.

 

 

1956   The Orioles’ “For All We Know” and the Ravens’ spiritual yet secular ballad “A Simple Prayer” were released.

 

1962   Ray Charles reached #7 pop with “You Are My Sunshine.” Ironically, the R&B icon was putting cash in the pocket of a segregationist with every record sold, as the tune was written by former Louisiana governor Jimmie Davis.

 

1962   The Crystals charted with “He’s Sure the Boy I Love” (#11 pop). Unfortunately, as with their previous hit, “He’s A Rebel,” it wasn’t the Crystals singing on the record but Darlene Love & the Blossoms, thanks to the decision-makimg shenanigans of producer Phil Spector.

 

1962  The Supremes charted R&B with “Let Me Go The Right Way,” reaching #26 (#90 pop). It was their first of forty-three R&B hits through 1977.

 

1966   The Jimi Hendrix Experience appeared on London’s Top of the Pops show, performing their first single, “Hey Joe,” a cover of the Leaves’ hit.

 

1982   To honor the recently departed Bob Marley, a commemmorative stamp was issued by the Jamaican government.

 

1990   Lou Rawls hosted the Lou Rawls Parade of Stars Telethon to raise money for the United Negro College Fund. Also performing was Patti LaBelle.

 

1992   B.B. King performed for 300 inmates at the Gainseville Drug Treatment Center in Gainseville, FL. Among the prisoners was his daughter Patty, incarcerated for three years for drug trafficking. Forty-one years earlier to the day, B.B. had charted with his first R&B hit, “3 O’Clock Blues.”  Amazingly, despite a career that’s still going in the twenty-first century, and with more than seventy R&B hits, that first one was his biggest, reaching #1 for five weeks.

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