Monthly Archives: March 2009

ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: MARCH 31

#1 R&B Song 1958:   “Tequila,” the Champs

 

Born:   Big Maceo Merriweather, 1905; Lowell Fulsom, 1921; Al Goodman (Ray, Goodman & Brown), 1947

 

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1945   Erskine Hawkins & His Orchestra charted with “Tippin’ In,” reaching #1 R&B for six weeks.

 

1956   The Coasters had their first chart single under their own name when “Down In Mexico” reached the R&B list today, eventually hitting #8. Two of the members, Bobby Nunn and Carl Gardner, had previously been with the Robins of Smokey Joe’s Cafe fame.

 

1956   The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presly, was also the king of the R&B charts. . ..sort of. Presley had thirty-five R&B hits from 1956 through 1963 starting today with the debut of “Heartbreak Hotel,” which reached #3. He was the most successful White artist on the Black charts and was #35 among the Top 500 R&B artists of all time. James Brown was #1.

 

1961   The Brooklyn Fox’s Easter Extravaganza included performances by the Marcel, the Shirelles, Little Anthony & the Imperials, Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs, Carla Thomas, Ben E. King, the Olympics, Chuck Jackson, the Capris, the Isley Brothers, and Rosie, formerly of the Originals. All that for a couple of dollars.

 

1962   The Crystals’ “Uptown” charted (#13) and became their only single featuring six members, as Lala Brooks replaced a pregnant Merna Girard, who hung on long enough to record at the session. The song was originally intended for Tony Orlando until producer Phil Spector convinced the writers it needed a female touch.

 

 

 

1967   The Jimi Hendrix Experience began its first tour at the Astoria Theatre in London, but the debut was short-lived as Jimi was taken to a hospital for burns on his hands as a result of his new “gimmick” that included burning his guitar. The tour included American and British stars the Walker Brothers and Engelbert Humperdinck. Before the tour was over Jimi would be playing his guitar with his teeth along with his nightly burn-the-guitar ritual, which would have theater owners up in arms.

 

1973   New York City (a vocal group from guess where) charted with the Thom Bell-produced “I’m Doin’ Fine Now,” reaching #14 R&B and #17 pop.

 

1991   Whitney Houston performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Norfolk Naval Air Station for American soldiers returning from the Gulf  War. Her recording of the anthem sold more than 750,000 records in only nine days.

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ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: MARCH 30

#1 R&B Song 1957:   “I’m Walkin,” Fats Domino

 

Born:   MC Hammer (Stanley Burrell), 1963

 

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1953   The Crows monumental hit, “Gee,” was recorded at New York’s Beltone Studios. The Crows were an American R & B singing group who achieved commercial success in the 1950s. The group’s first single and only major hit, Gee, released in June 1953, has been credited with being the first Rock n’ Roll hit by a rock and roll group. It peaked at position #14 and #2, respectively, on the Billboard magazine pop and rhythm-and-blues charts in 1954.

 

File:Crows group.jpg
The Crows original members were: Daniel “Sonny” Norton (lead); William “Bill” Davis (baritone); Harold Major (tenor); Jerry Wittick (tenor); and Gerald Hamilton (bass). In 1952, Wittick left the group and was replaced by Mark Jackson (tenor and guitarist).

 

1963   Quincy Jones produced Lesley Gore’s debut single, “It’s My Party” today.

 

1963   The Chiffons reached #1 pop and R&B with “He’s So Fine.” The single spent four weeks in the top spot on both charts, becoming a million seller.

 

 

1967   Jimi Hendrix was about to perform on British TV’s Top of the Pops when the engineer accidentally ran the backing track for an Alan Price record, “Simon Smith and His Amazing Dancing Bear” instead of “Purple Haze.” Hendrix without missing a beat, nonchalantly stated, “I don’t know the words to that one, man.”

 

1972   Berry Gordy Jr. founder of Motown Records, patented the name the Jackson 5, which would eventually force the group to change their names to the Jacksons when they signed with Epic Records in 1976.

 

1988   Gladys Knight & the Pips were honored with the Heritage Award at the second Soul Train Music Awards, coinciding with their thirtieth recording anniversary.

 

1989   After singing together as Gladys Knight & the Pips for thirty-seven years, Knight made her solo debut at Bally’s Casino in Las Vegas.

 

1996   Two of the Isley Brothers, Ron and Ernie, along with R. Kelly, peaked at #4 pop with “Down Low (Nobody Has to Know).” The Isleys were an early influence on Kelly’s career.

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ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: MARCH 29

#1 R&B Song 1969:   “Runaway Child, Running Wild,” the Temptations

 

Born:   Camille Howard, 1914; Pearl Bailey, 1918

 

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1951   The Ravens recorded “You Foolish Thing” for Columbia, now a $2,000 collectible.

 

1965   Dionne Warwick performed at London’s Savoy Hotel in the  intimate setting of a cabaret.

 

1975   LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade” reached #1 in America  and became a million-seller. The group was formerly known as Patti LaBelle & the Blue Belles.

 

 

1980   The Spinners reached #2 pop and #6 R&B with the medley “Working My Way Back to You/Forgive Me Girl,” the first time a medley of a hit and an original song had reached the Top 5. “Working” was originally a hit for the Four Seasons in 1966.

 

 

1980   Lionel Richie performed “Endless Love” at the Academy Awards’ fifty-fifth annual ceremonies in Los Angeles.

 

1992   MTV began promoting its My Dinner With Michale Jackson contest in which 100 lucky contestants would have a dinner with the superstar in Los Angeles. More than 4 million people responded.

 

1996   Boyz II Men were honored with the Sammy Davis Jr. Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Entertainment at the Soul Train tenth annual Music Awards, held at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium. The award was presented by Bill Cosby. Patti LaBelle was also honored with the Heritage Award and sang “Over the Rainbow.” Hosting the show were Anita Baker, LL Cool J, and Brandy.

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IN REMEMBRANCE: 3-29-2009

Published: March 25, 2009
 
John Hope Franklin, a prolific scholar of African-American history who profoundly influenced thinking about slavery and Reconstruction while helping to further the civil rights struggle, died Wednesday in Durham, N.C. He was 94.
 
March 25, 2009    

Derek Anderson for The New York Times

John Hope Franklin at home in Durham, N.C., in 2006.

Related

John Hope Franklin: Scholar and Witness (March 29, 2009)

Times Topics: John Hope Franklin

 
March 26, 2009    

Peter Foley/European Pressphoto Agency

Speaking on race in 2005, with former President Bill Clinton.

 

 

A spokeswoman for Duke University, where Dr. Franklin taught, said he died of congestive heart failure at the university’s hospital.
 
During a career of scholarship, teaching and advocacy that spanned more than 70 years, Dr. Franklin was deeply involved in the painful debates that helped reshape America’s racial identity, working with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., W. E. B. Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall and other major civil rights figures of the 20th century.
 
“I will always think of John Hope as the historian of the South who grasped the complexity of Southern public life as shaped by the horror of personal slavery,” said Nell Irvin Painter, the Princeton University historian. “Franklin was the first great American historian to reckon the price owed in violence, autocracy and militarism.”
 
It was a theme Dr. Franklin wrestled with into his last years. In an article in The Atlantic Monthly in 2007, he wrote, “If the American idea was to fight every war from the beginning of colonization to the middle of the 20th century with Jim Crow armed forces, in the belief that this would promote the American idea of justice and equality, then the American idea was an unmitigated disaster and a denial of the very principles that this country claimed as its rightful heritage.”
 
Dr. Franklin combined idealism with rigorous research, producing such classic works as “From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans,” first published in 1947. Considered one of the definitive historical surveys of the American black experience, it has sold more than three million copies and has been translated into Japanese, German, French, Chinese and other languages.
 
Robert W. Fogel, a Nobel Prize-winning economist at the University of Chicago, called it “a landmark in the interpretation of American civilization.”
 
Dr. Franklin also taught at some of the nation’s leading institutions, including Harvard and the University of Chicago in addition to Duke, and as a scholar he personally broke several racial barriers.
 
He often argued that historians have an important role in shaping policy, a position he put into practice when he worked with Marshall’s team of lawyers in their effort to strike down segregation in the landmark 1954 case Brown v. Board of Education, which outlawed the doctrine of “separate but equal” in the nation’s public schools.
 
“Using the findings of the historians,” Dr. Franklin recalled in a 1974 lecture, “the lawyers argued that the history of segregation laws reveals that their main purpose was to organize the community upon the basis of a superior white and an inferior Negro caste.”
 
Dr. Franklin also participated in the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., with Dr. King.
 
“One might argue that the historian is the conscience of the nation, if honesty and consistency are factors that nurture the conscience,” Dr. Franklin said. Still, he warned, if scholars engage in advocacy as well as scholarship they must “make it clear which activity they are engaging in at any given time.”
 
President Bill Clinton, in awarding him the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 1995, said Dr. Franklin had never confused “his role as an advocate with his role as a scholar,” adding that he had held “to the conviction that integration is a national necessity.”
 
Yet even on so august an occasion, Dr. Franklin could not escape the legacy of discrimination. In a talk he gave in North Carolina 10 years later, he recalled that on the evening before he received the medal at the White House, a woman at a Washington club asked him to fetch her coat, mistaking him for an attendant, and that a man at his hotel had handed him car keys and told him to get his car.
 
Dr. Franklin’s prestige led Mr. Clinton to select him in 1997 to head the Advisory Board to the President’s Initiative on Race, which was formed to promote dialogue about the country’s race problems.
 
The panel, however, drew criticism. White supremacists protested at some of its forums, and at others American Indians and other minorities complained that they were being left out of the process. A group of conservative scholars repudiated the panel and formed their own.
 
And when Dr. Franklin’s group finally issued its report after 15 months, the document was criticized as, in one disillusioned scholar’s words, “a list of platitudes.”
 
The controversy did little to dim Dr. Franklin’s standing as a groundbreaking historian, however. He was the first African-American president of the American Historical Association; the first black department chairman at a predominantly white institution, Brooklyn College; the first black professor to hold an endowed chair at Duke; the first black chairman of the University of Chicago’s history department; and the first African-American to present a paper at the segregated Southern Historical Association, one of many groups that later elected him its president.

Related

John Hope Franklin: Scholar and Witness (March 29, 2009)

Times Topics: John Hope Franklin

John Hope Franklin was born on Jan. 2, 1915, in Rentiesville, Okla., the son of Buck Colbert Franklin, a lawyer, and Molly Parker Franklin, an elementary school teacher. His parents had moved to Rentiesville, an all-black town, after his father was not allowed to practice law in Louisiana.
 
In the 1920s, the family moved to Tulsa, and at age 11 he was taken to hear the great civil rights leader W. E. B. Du Bois, with whom Dr. Franklin later became friends.
 
His youth was marked by frequent brushes with racism. He was forced off an all-white train and made to sit in a segregated section of the Tulsa opera house. He watched black neighborhoods of Tulsa — including the one where his father had his office — being burned during the infamous 1921 race riot, and he was barred from admission to the University of Oklahoma.
 
Instead, Dr. Franklin attended historically black Fisk University in Nashville, receiving his B.A. in 1935. There he met Aurelia E. Whittington, who would become his wife, and sometime editor, of almost 60 years. They had one son, John Whittington Franklin, who survives him. Mrs. Franklin died in 1999.
 
In 1997, Dr. Franklin and his son edited an autobiography of his father, Buck Franklin. The book told the tale of free blacks in the Southwestern Indian territories in the late 1800s. Buck Franklin’s father, a former slave owned by Indians, became a cowboy and rancher, while Buck, who taught himself law by mail, was an advocate of black pride and nonviolence.
 
Before graduating from Fisk, Dr. Franklin considered following his father into law but was persuaded by a white professor, Ted Currier, to make history his field. Professor Currier was said to have borrowed $500 to help Dr. Franklin pursue graduate studies at Harvard. There, Dr. Franklin later recalled, he felt the isolation of being one of only a handful of blacks on campus. He received his master’s degree in 1936 and his Ph.D. in 1941.
 
Two years later he published his first book, “The Free Negro in North Carolina, 1790-1860,” which explored slaveholders’ hatred and fear of the quarter-million free blacks in the antebellum South. Almost 20 other books followed, either written or edited by Dr. Franklin.
 
 
In “The Militant South, 1800-1861” (1956), he described Southern whites’ “martial spirit” and “will to fight,” which he said gave the pre-Civil-War South its reputation for violence. He approvingly quoted Tocqueville’s observation that, because of slavery, “the citizen of the Southern states becomes a sort of domestic dictator from infancy.”
 
In “Reconstruction After the Civil War” (1961), he wrote that the end of Reconstruction reforms left “the South more than ever attached to the values and outlook that had shaped its history.” He lamented that “in the postwar years, the Union had not made the achievements of the war a foundation for the healthy advancement of the political, social and economic life” of the nation.
 
“The Emancipation Proclamation” (1963), written a century after the proclamation was issued, examined how it evolved in Lincoln’s mind and its impact on the Civil War and later generations. Dr. Franklin concluded hopefully, “Perhaps in its second century, it would give real meaning and purpose to the Declaration of Independence.”
 
And in “The Color Line: Legacy for the 21st Century” (1993) he argued that race would remain America’s great problem in the 21st century.
 
Despite his acute awareness of the South’s troubled racial history, Dr. Franklin was often angrier about Northern racism and frequently defended his adopted home state, North Carolina.
 
His major biographical project was a 1985 study of George Washington Williams, a self-educated black Civil War veteran and author of a 1,000-page 1882 history of blacks in America from 1619 to 1880. He said he spent nearly 40 years of intermittent research on the project, calling Williams “one of the small heroes of the world.”
 
Dr. Franklin’s first passion was teaching, and he continued to log classroom time despite his increasing prominence. His teaching career began at Fisk in 1936 and continued over the next 20 years at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, N.C., North Carolina College in Durham and Howard University in Washington.
 
As his first books drew national notice, Dr. Franklin left the world of historically black colleges and went to Brooklyn College, where from 1956 to 1964 he served as chairman of what had been an all-white department.
 

“Having John Hope Franklin at Brooklyn College in the 1960’s was like having a real star in our midst,” said Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, who was a student of Dr. Franklin’s. “Students who were lucky enough to get into his class bragged about him from morning until night.”
 
Dr. Franklin later taught at the University of Chicago before returning to North Carolina in 1982 to teach at Duke and at the Duke Law School.
 
Dr. Franklin was also a Fulbright professor in Australia and had teaching stints in China and Zimbabwe. He taught at Cambridge University in England; Harvard; Cornell; the University of Wisconsin; the University of Hawaii; the University of California, Berkeley; and other institutions. Since 1992, he had been James B. Duke professor emeritus of history at Duke. A John Hope Franklin Research Center was established in his honor at Duke.
At his home in Durham, Dr. Franklin continued a lifelong hobby of cultivating hundreds of orchids; one species was named for him, the Phalaenopsis John Hope Franklin.
 
His honors, awards, and professional and civic affiliations were so numerous as to fill several single-spaced pages of a long curriculum vitae. He received more than 100 honorary degrees.
 
In 2006, he received the John W. Kluge Prize for the Study of Humanities in a ceremony at the Library of Congress. In his prepared remarks he said he had long struggled “to understand how it is that we could seek a land of freedom for the people of Europe and, at the very same time, establish a social and economic system that enslaved people who happen not to be from Europe.”
 
“I have struggled to understand,” he went on, “how it is that we could fight for independence and, at the very same time, use that newly won independence to enslave many who had joined in the fight for independence.
 
“As a student of history, I have attempted to explain it historically, but that explanation has not been all that satisfactory. That has left me no alternative but to use my knowledge of history, and whatever other knowledge and skills I have, to present the case for change in keeping with the express purpose of attaining the promised goals of equality for all peoples.”
 
SOURCE:  The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com
 
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A prolific author, a towering giant in the field of race relations, and a man of profound foresight. Dr. Franklin’s contributions, and his insight, are still relevant well into the 21ST Century.
 
Rest in peace, Dr. Frankiln.
 
Rest in peace.
 
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URIEL JONES, A MOTOWN DRUMMER
 
 
Artisan Entertainment, via Associated Press

The drummer Uriel Jones, center, with bandmate James Jamerson in 1964.

 

By BEN SISARIO

Published: March 25, 2009
 
Uriel Jones, a drummer with the Funk Brothers, the studio musicians at Motown Records who played without credit on virtually every hit during that label’s heyday in the 1960s, died on Tuesday in Dearborn, Mich. He was 74.
 
The cause was complications of a recent heart attack, his sister-in-law Leslie Coleman said.
 
Drawn from the ranks of Detroit jazz players by Berry Gordy Jr., the founder of Motown, the Funk Brothers were the label’s regular studio backup band from 1959 to 1972, when Motown moved to Los Angeles and left most of them behind.
 
The players appeared on songs by Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, the Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas and many others, and “Standing in the Shadows of Motown,” a 2002 documentary, opens with the claim that they “played on more No. 1 records than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis and the Beatles combined.” Yet the group remained largely unknown until that film’s release.
 
The band’s main drummer was the formidable Benny Benjamin, but as he became sidelined by drug addiction, Mr. Jones and another player, Richard Allen, known as Pistol, gradually took over drumming duties. Mr. Benjamin died of a stroke in 1969, and Mr. Allen died in 2002, shortly before the release of the film.
 
Mr. Jones joined the Funk Brothers around 1963 after touring with Marvin Gaye, and plays on Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” the Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” the Miracles’ “Tracks of My Tears,” Jimmy Ruffin’s “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted,” and Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” among many other songs.
 
Born in Detroit, Mr. Jones began playing music in high school. But his first instrument was the trombone, said his wife, June. She survives him, along with three children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
 
“He wanted to box also,” Ms. Jones said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. “When he went to band classes his lip was swollen and he couldn’t play the trombone, so he had to switch to the drums.”
 
Mr. Jones remained in Detroit after Motown left, and continued to play in local clubs with other Funk Brothers alumni, including Earl Van Dyke, the keyboardist, who died in 1992.
 
After “Standing in the Shadows of Motown,” Mr. Jones toured widely with other surviving Funk Brothers.
 
In interviews later, he said he regretted being underpaid, but held no grudges against Motown.
 
“We know now that we didn’t get the money that we was supposed to,” he told The Call and Post, a Cleveland newspaper, in 2002, “but the way I look at it is, ‘What would my life had been like without Motown?’ I’d rather it had been with Motown.”
 
SOURCE:  The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com
 
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DAN SEALS, KNOWN AS ENGLAND DAN OF POP-FOLK DUO
 
Published: March 26, 2009
 
Dan Seals, who performed as England Dan in the folk-pop duo England Dan and John Ford Coley and later returned to his roots as a country singer and songwriter, died Wednesday at his daughter’s home in Nashville. He was 61.
 
 
 
Lois Raimondo/Associated Press, 1995

Dan Seals

 

The cause was complications of the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma, said Tony Gottlieb, his friend and manager.
 
Mr. Seals’s first widespread success as a performer came with the smooth-voiced harmonies of England Dan and John Ford Coley. Their first single, “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight,” reached No. 2 on the pop charts in 1976. The duo had eight more light-rock hits over the next four years, including “Nights Are Forever Without You,” which also reached the Top 10 in 1976.
 
Mr. Seals enjoyed even greater acclaim in the country field, where he had 11 No. 1 singles from 1985 to 1990. His 1985 hit “Bop,” which crossed over to the pop chart, won the Country Music Association’s award for Single of the Year in 1986. “Meet Me in Montana,” a duet with Marie Osmond, also won honors at the Country Music Association Awards that year.
 
In the video for his 1989 single “They Rage On,” Mr. Seals, whose Bahai faith taught tolerance and unity, addressed prejudice by depicting an interracial relationship.
 
As a member, with Mr. Coley, of the Dallas group Southwest F.O.B., Mr. Seals had a minor hit with “The Smell of Incense” in 1968. He sang and played saxophone in the band. His nickname, England, was given to him by his brother Jim.
 
Danny Wayland Seals was born Feb. 8, 1948, in McCamey, Tex. His father, an amateur guitarist who performed with Bob Wills and Ernest Tubb, worked as a pipeliner in the oil fields of West Texas. Mr. Seals’s older brother, Jim Seals, played in fiddle championships as a child and later had several pop hits as part of the 1970s duo Seals & Crofts.
 
At his death, Dan and Jim Seals were working on an album, which they planned to release sometime this year.
 
In addition to his brother Jim, Mr. Seals is survived by his mother, Sue Taylor of Wolfe City, Tex.; his wife, Andrea, known as Andi; their daughter, Holley May Lizarrga of Nashville; their son, Jesse, of Whites Creek, Tenn.; and seven grandchildren. Mr. Seals is also survived by two sons from a previous marriage, Jimmy, of Hendersonville, Tenn., and Jeremy, of Clarksville, Tenn.
 
SOURCE:  The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com
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Such beautiful and gentle music that Mr. Seals made with Mr.  Coley. Not mentioned in the news article is one song that Dan and John sung:  “Love is the Answer.” I feel this song is very underappreciated and underrated. It is one of the best songs sung By England Dan and John Ford Coley.
Rest in peace, Mr. Dan Seals.
Rest in peace.
Love is the Answer

Name your price
A ticket to Paradise
I can’t stay here any more
And I’ve looked high and low
I’ve been from shore to shore to shore
If there’s a short cut I’d have found it
But there’s no easy way around it

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer

Who knows why
Someday we all must die
We’re all homeless boys and girls
And we are never heard
It’s such a lonely world
People turn their heads and walk on by
Tell me, is it worth just another try?

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer

Tell me, are we alive, or just a dying planet?
What are the chances?

Ask the man in your heart for the answers

And when you feel afraid, love one another
When you’ve lost your way,
love one another
When you’re all alone, love one another When you’re far from home, love

one another And when you’re down and out, love one another All your hope’s run out,
love one another And when you need a friend,
love one another
When you’re near the end,
love one another
We got to love one another

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer

Light of the world, shine
Light of the world

Shine on me
shine on me
shine shine shine shine on me
shine shine shine shine…..

 
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EDDIE BO, NEW ORLEANS R&B BELTER
 
Published: March 24, 2009
 
Eddie Bo, an exuberant New Orleans pianist and singer who wrote for and worked with artists like Irma Thomas, Etta James and Art Neville of the Neville Brothers, and whose song “I’m Wise” became one of Little Richard’s biggest hits, as “Slippin’ and Slidin’,” died last Wednesday. He was 79 and lived in New Orleans.
 
 
Jack Vartoogian/Frontrowphotos

Eddie Bo performing in 2006.

Related

Eddie Bo at JazzAscona 2008 (Youtube.com)

The cause was a heart attack, said Karen Hamilton, his booking agent.
 
Mr. Bo, a rhythm-and-blues belter and florid barrelhouse pianist, came of age when New Orleans street music, based on marching band traditions, was being translated into a distinctive local rhythm and blues style. He flourished as a songwriter and performer, making the transition to funk in the early 1970s.
 
“He had a very percussive sound, more jazzy than Professor Longhair,” said John Broven, the author of “Rhythm and Blues in New Orleans.” “He was always at the forefront of trends, right back to the Little Richard days and into the funk era, when he released some really revolutionary records.”
 
Edwin Joseph Bocage was born in New Orleans and reared in Algiers, La., and in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans. After serving overseas in the Army, he studied composition and arranging at the Grunewald School of Music in New Orleans and developed a New Orleans piano style with a jazzy inflection influenced by Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson.
 
Reviewing Mr. Bo in performance at Tramps Cafe in New York in 1993 for The New York Times, Jon Pareles called him a one-man orchestra: “His left hand trundles out steady-rolling bass lines, meshed with chords or splashed with barrelhouse triplets from his right; he stamps his feet in one more layer of rhythm.”
 
In the early 1950’s Mr. Bo toured with the singers Joe Turner, Lloyd Price, Ruth Brown and Earl King before establishing a career as a songwriter and performer, recording for independent labels like Apollo, Ric and Rip. His best-known record was “Check Mr. Popeye,” a dance tune released in 1961, which included the tag line “You’d better check that spinach, Olive’s in the danger zone.” He also produced records by Irma Thomas, Johnny Adams and Tommy Ridgley.
 
His song “My Dearest Darling” was recorded by Etta James in 1960, and Mr. Bo himself released more than 50 singles, including “Hook and Sling,” which reached No. 13 on Billboard’s R&B chart in 1969. He is also credited as one of the writers of Oliver Morgan’s signature song, “Who Shot the LaLa.”
 
In 1970 Mr. Bo recorded the seminal funk songs “The Rubber Band” and “Check Your Bucket,” but in 1975 he dropped out of the music scene. After studying for a time at the Yahweh Institute in Miami, he returned to New Orleans in the late 1980s. In recent years he appeared regularly at the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, toured extensively abroad and recorded albums on his Bo-Sound label, including “Nine Yards of Funk” (1998) and “Saints, Let’s Go Marching On In” (2007).
 
SOURCE:  The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com
 
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JEANETTE EPSTEIN OSHMAN, SPORTING GOODS EXEC
 
By MIKE TOLSON
Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle

March 28, 2009, 7:40PM

photo
Family photo
A philanthropist, Jeanette Epstein Oshman gave money to Baylor College of Medicine and other Medical Center institutions.
 
Jeanette Epstein Oshman, who helped the family business become one of the nation’s leading sporting goods retailers, died at home Wednesday. She was 98.
 

Oshman, who immigrated to the U.S. from Poland with her family as a young girl, took over as chairman of the Oshman’s Sporting Goods chain following the death of her husband, Jake, in 1965. Although she gave control of day-to-day operations to her son-in-law, Alan Lubetkin, she became chairman of the board and oversaw the enterprise as it began to expand to more than 200 stores.

 

Oshman viewed the business very much as a family affair, with a daughter and granddaughter eventually assuming important roles. She was a presence in the Houston stores and had long-standing friendships with many of the company’s employees that continued well after she stepped away from active involvement, her family said.

 

“It was an act of courage,” daughter Marilyn Oshman said of her mother’s dive into the business world. “She had no experience in running a retail business. But she had very good business sense, and she had a very good way with people. She gave people who worked with us confidence that we were going to run it well, and we had good leadership. And that happened. We went from seven stores to 220 stores.”

 

As Marilyn Oshman became involved in the business, eventually succeeding her as board chairman, Jeanette Oshman began a second career in real estate. She bought parcels of raw land, mostly in north Houston, and took pleasure in her investment acumen. She put together groups of investors to make some of the real estate purchases, her daughter said, but she was never the passive partner.

 

Her daughter described her as a strong, sharp-tongued, determined woman with high expectations for her children. She had a passion for card games, cooking and reading. She transformed herself into a savvy businesswoman with the same sort of discipline she showed as a young woman when she had a doughnut and coffee every day for lunch for two years so she could save enough money to buy her parents a car.

 

“I think of my mother as a phenomenon,” Marilyn Oshman said. “It wouldn’t be proper to call her a Renaissance woman, but she had a life that just kept going and going. In many ways she lived the American dream. She worked her way through it with great joy and pride.”

 

Jeanette Oshman was heavily involved in philanthropy. She gave substantial sums to Baylor College of Medicine and other institutions in the Texas Medical Center, and she also helped people individually.

 

“She helped put people through school and gave and loaned them money,” Marilyn Oshman said. “She was amazingly generous.”

 

Jeanette Oshman in survived by her daughters, Marilyn Oshman and Judy Margolis; four grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Jake; her second husband, Meyer Efron; and a son, Martin Lee Oshman. Services were held Friday.

 

 
SOURCE:  The Houston Chronicle:  http://www.chron.com

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ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: MARCH 28

#1 R&B Song 1987:   “Looking For a New Love,” Jody Watley

Born:   Blues artist Cripple Clarence Lofton (Albert Clemens), 1887

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1953   Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton charted with “Hound Dog,” reaching #1 for seven weeks on the R&B hit parade. (Before Elvis Presley’s version four years later, there was Big Mama Thornton, an outstanding lady who still has not been given her due and respect for the tremendous gifts she has given rock ‘n’ roll. Willie Mae’s is the best definitive version of this classic song. “Hound Dog”….real rhythm and blues, real rock ‘n’ roll at its greatest. Work it Willie Mae, work it! And bow-wow to you, too!

 

1956   The Five Satins legendary love song, “In the Still of the Night” was released on its original label, Standord. It was soon reissued on the larger Ember label, reaching #24 pop, #3 R&B. (Fred Parris, leader of the group, had written the song in 1955, which the group later recorded in the basement of a local church.)

 

1967   The Murray the K Easter Show at the RKO theater in New York featured the Miracles.

1970   The Moments charted with “Love On a Two-Way Street,” reaching #1 R&B for five weeks and #3 pop. The New Jersey trio had thirty-nine R&B hits between 1968 and 1988 but this was the biggest. (I remember hearing this song on the radio when I was a child. That voice of the lead singer, those lyrics  “I found love on a two-way street….and lost it on a lonely highway….true love will never die“……made this a very out-of-the-ordinary song. I remember making fun of the lyrics in jest to my older sister, but, she loved the song. Even now, I still have fond memories of this song and it definitely is still a keeper 😉

 

1974   Bluesman Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup died today after a massive heart attack. The man who launched Elvis Presley’s career with his song “That’s Alright Mama,” had six chart hits in the ’40s and performed with the likes of Sonny Boy Williamson, Elmore James, and Lightnin’ Hopkins. He was so discontented and broke from his music-business experiences that he quit in the ’50s to farm sweet potatoes in Mississippi. He was sixty-eight.

File:Arthur Big Boy Crudup (blues musician).jpg
Arthur Crudup at the College of Commerce, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1969 (Photo by Phil Wright).

1981   Rick James charted with “Give It to Me, Baby,” which would become his second R&B #1 (#40 pop). (Whatever anyone may say about Rick James, you have to give the man mad props. Rick was definitely off the chain on this song 🙂

1988   Tina Turner’s Break Every Rule tour ended today in Osaka, Japan, after she performed 230 dates in twenty-five countries, playing to more than 3 million people.

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ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: MARCH 27

#1 R&B Song 1961:   “What’s Going On,” Marvin Gaye

 

Born:   Sarah Vaughn, 1924; Walter “Bunny” Sigler, 1941; Brenda Knight (Gladys Knight & the Pips), 1941; Mariah Carey, 1970; Andre 3000 Benjamin (Outkast), 1975

 

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1951   The Larks recorded their immortal ballad “My Reverie.” Today an original copy goes for $8,000.

 

 

1954   The Spaniels’ 45 “Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight,” was released. An original 45 today is valued at about $1,000.

 

 

1965   The Miracles’ classic doo-wop/soul ballad, “Ooo Baby Baby” charted, reaching #4 R&B and #16 pop.

 

 

1967   Fats Domino performed on his first British tour at London’s Saville Theater with the Bee Gees and Gerry & the Pacemakers.

1971   Ike & Tina Turner’s raucous remake of Credence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” reached #4 pop and #5 R&B, giving the tempestuous duo their first Top 5 hit. Ike, who began as a self-taught musician backing the likes of Sonny Boy Williamson, became a disc jockey at Clarksdale, MS’s WROX radio station before graduating to talent scout for LA’s Modern Records. He went on to discover B.B. King and Howlin’ Wolf, whom he drafted for the label in 1952.

 

 

 

 

Ya know, every now and then
I think you might like to hear something from us
Nice and easy
But theres just one thing
You see we never ever do nothing
Nice and easy
We always do it nice and rough
So were gonna take the beginning of this song
And do it easy
Then were gonna do the finish rough
This is the way we do proud mary

And were rolling, rolling, rolling on the river
Listen to the story

I left a good job in the city
Working for the man every night and day
And I never lost one minute of sleeping
Worrying bout the way things might have been

Big wheel keep on turning
Proud mary keep on burning
And were rolling, rolling
Rolling on the river

Cleaned a lot of plates in memphis
Pumped a lot of tane down in new orleans
But I never saw the good side of the city
Till I hitched a ride on a riverboat queen

Big wheel keep on turning
Proud mary keep on burning
And were rolling, rolling
Rolling on the river

If you come down to the river
I bet you gonna find some people who live
You dont have to worry if you got no money
People on the river are happy to give

Go head on, Ms. Tina, with your bad self. Break every rule!

 

1993   Prince and Lenny Kravitz performed at New York’s Apollo Theater singing Prince’s “When You Were Mine.” the concert was Prince’s first at the famed venue and was a special invitation show for underpriviledged children from the area.

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INTERNATIONAL WORLD HEALTH DAY: APRIL 7, 2009

 

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World Health Day 2009

  WHO > Programmes and projects > World Health Day

Save lives. Make hospitals safe in emergencies

World Health Day 2009 focuses on the resilience and safety of health facilities and the health workers who treat those affected by emergencies. Events around the world will highlight successes, advocate for safe facility design and construction, and build momentum for widespread emergency preparedness.

World Health Day 2009

World Health Day 2008

Displaced people from Sudan's Darfur collecting water in the Gassire camp in eastern Chad.

Protecting health from climate change
In 2008, World Health Day focused on the need to protect health from the adverse effects of climate change. The health impacts of climate change are already evident in different ways. These impacts will be disproportionately greater in vulnerable populations, which include the very young, elderly, medically infirm, poor and isolated populations.

World Health Day 2007

WHO staff and GOARN members at work in the field

International health security
The theme for World Health Day 2007 was international health security, which is the first line of defence against public health emergencies that can devastate people, societies and economies worldwide. The aim was to urge governments, organizations and businesses to “invest in health, build a safer future”.

World Health Day 2006

Working together for health
In 2006, World Health Day was devoted to the health workforce crisis. Around the world, there is a chronic shortage of health workers as a result of decades of underinvestment in their education, training, salaries, working environment and management. This is a crisis from which no country is entirely immune.

 
 
 

SOURCE:  http://www.who.int/world-health-day/en/

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