ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: FEBRUARY 28

#1 R&B Song 1953:   “Baby, Don’t Do It,” the “5” Royales

 

Born:   Barbara Acklin, 1942; Cindy Wilson, 1957

 

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1954   Spark Records of Los Angeles was formed and became home to the  R&B group the Robins.

 

1968   Frankie Lymon, the voice that helped launch rock ‘n’ roll as well as thousands of look-a-likes, died in his grandmoter’s apartment in New York Ciyt’s Harlem of a drug overdose. Though his youthful voice had lost its register, he was still recording and still hopeful. In fact,Frankie had a recording session scheduled at Roulette Records the next day. Frankie was only twenty-five.

 

1975   Bobby “Blue” Bland and B.B. King’s album, Together for the First Time—Live, was certified gold today by the RIAA. It was the forst joint album for the artists, whose friendship went back to 1949 when Bland worked for King as a valet.

 

1976   Muddy Waters won the Best Ethnic or Traditional Recording award at the eighteenth annual Grammys. It was his third win in that category in five years.

 

1977   In an accident reminiscent of a despicable attack on Nat King Cole decades earlier, Ray Charles was assaulted onstage at a concert for disadvantaged youth by a lunatic who charged the stage carryig a rope and trying to strangle the  blind vocalist.

 

1984   Michael Jackson won an amazing eight awards at the twenty-sixth annual Grammy celebration, including Producer of the Year (Non-Classical), shared with Qincy Jones; Record of the Year; Album of the Year; Best Rock Vocal Performance Male for “Beat It”‘; Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male for Thriller; Best New Song for “Bille Jean”; Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male; and Best Recording for Children for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

1996   Stevie Wonder was honored at the thirty-eighth annual Grammy Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He also won Best R&B Song and Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male trophies for “For Your Love.”

 

1998   The album Blues Brothers 2000, from the film of the same name, reached #12 pop. An all-star performance by the so-called Louisana gator Boys (actually B.B. King, Bo Diddley, Lou Rawls, Clarence Clemons, Eric Clapton, Grover Washington, Billy preston, and others) was a feature of the less-than-successful follow-up to the classic film, The Blues Brothers.

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