ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: JANUARY 21

#1 R&B Song 1967:   “Tell It Like Is,” Aaron Neville

 

Born:   Richie Havens, 1941; Edwin Starr (Charles Hatcher), 1942; Billy Ocean (Leslie Sebastian Charles), 1950

 

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1962   Jackie Wilson performed on Ed Sullivan’s Sunday-night TV show. He sang, “My Heart Belongs To Only You.”

 

1982   B.B. King donated his record collection, including more than 7,000 rare blues discs, to the University of Mississippi Center for the Study of Southern Culture.

 

1984   Legendary vocalist Jackie Wilson died in Mount Holly, NJ after an eight-year coma brought about by a heart attack while onstage (September 25, 1975). He was singing “Lonely Teardrops” at the time. Attending the funeral were numerous stars, including the Spinners, Berry Gordy, Jr., and the Four Tops.

Jackie suffered a massive heart attack while playing a Dick Clark show at the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, New Jersey on September 25, 1975, falling head-first to the stage while singing “Lonely Teardrops”. The blow to the head Jackie suffered left him comatose. For the next eight years and four months, he was in a vegetative state until his death at age 49. Al Green, the soul singer, and Elvis Presley were some of the few artists who regularly visited the bed-ridden Jackie. A little known fact is that when he found out that Jackie was broke, Dick Clark paid all of Jackie’s medical bills up to the day he passed away.

“Mr. Excitement”, one of the first great soul singers, was only forty-nine.

 

Jackie Wilson 
  • Born: Jun. 09, 1934 in Detroit, MI
  • Died:  Jan. 21, 1984
  • Years Active: 1950s, 1960s, 1970s

 

1987   Aretha Franklin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Rolling Stones member Keith Richards during the second annual awards presentation in New York City. Also enshrined were Bo Diddley, the Coasters, B.B. King, Smokey Robinson, Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye, and Cyde McPhatter of the Drifters. The latter three were posthumously inducted, and McPhatter was enshrined byanother Dristers lead singing great, Ben E. King. Jackie was iducted exactly three years after he died.

 

1989   Bobby Brown reached the top of the pop-album charts with Don’t Be Cruel, a collection that would hang around the Top 200 for ninety-seven weeks. The album became an international hit, going on to #3 in England.

 

1989   Willie Dixon and Bo Diddley, among others, performed at a Celebration for Young Americans at president Bush’s inauguration in Washington, DC. Diddley stated humbly, “I thank you in advance for the great round of applause I am about to get.”

 

1997   Jimi Hendrix was honored in his hometown of Seattle—-twenty-seven years after he died—-with a statue on the corner of Pine and Broadway.

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