ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: JANUARY 31

#1 R&B Song 1981:   “Fantastic Voyage,” Lakeside

 

Born:   Roosevelt Sykes, 1906; Harold “Chuck” Willis, 1928; Marvin Junior (the Dells), 1936

 

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1958   Little Richard officially announced that he had retired at the peak of his career to become an Evangelist. His conversion lasted all of four years.

 

1970   The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” debut Motown single reached #1 pop and would reach #1 R&B for four weeks. The song was originally conceived for Gladys Knight & the Pips.

 

 

1973   Bobby Womack performed at the Sports Arena in San Diego, CA, as the opening act for Santana. Womack, who by now had already charted R&B seventeen times, was a prolific guitarist, having recorded with the likes of Aretha Franklin, janis Joplin, Ray Charles, King Curtis, Joe Tex, and Wilson Pickett. In fact, Picket recorded seventeen of Bobby’s songs in just three years.

 

1979   With one chart record to his credit, Prince appeared as the opening act on as Rick James tour and promptly instigated a fight with the King of Punk Funk.

 

1987   New Edition charted with “Teras On My Pillow,” reaching #41 R&B and featuring Little Anthony, who with the Imperials sang the original legendary hit almost thirty years earlier in 1958.

 

1993   Michael Jackson performed at Superbowl XXVII’s halftime show at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. The performance and the game between the Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys had an estimated record-breaking audience of more than 133 million people.

 

1999   Stevie Wonder performed at Superbowl XXVII’s halftime show in Miami, FL.

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