ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: MARCH 26

#1 R&B Song 1988: “Man In the Mirror,” Michael Jackson

 

Born:   Rufus Thomas, 1917; Fred Parris (the Five Satins), 1936; Diana Ross (Diane Earl), 1944; Teddy Pendergrass (the Bluenotes), 1950

 

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1955   The Hearts, (originally called the Jaynets), one of the first rock ‘n’ roll female groups, stormed the R&B charts with their scintillating, powerhouse performance of “Lonely Nights,” reaching #8. The record was also one of the first to have a talking bridge, and anyone who’s heard that smokin’ line “You great big lump o’ sugar” will never forget the first in-your-face- attitude hit. The group included Zell Sanders, Jeanette “Baby” Washington, Hazel Crutchfield, Forestine Barnes, Joyce West, and later Louise Harris.

 

 

Zell Sanders went on to have her own J&S label, and produced the hit “Over the Mountain, Across the Sea,” for Johnnie & Joe.

 

 

1959   The Coasters recorded “Along Came Jones” (#9 pop, #14 R&B).

 

 

1962   One-hit wonders Ronnie & the Hi-Lites peformed their smashh “I Wish That We Were Married” on American Bandstand . The Jersey City quintet reached #16 pop with twleve-year-old Ronnie Goodson singing lead on the tear-jerking ballad. Goodson was one of the youngest Black vocal group leads—since Frankie Lymon in 1956—to have a hit.

 

 

1966   Marvin Gaye’s “One More Heartache” reached #29 pop and #4 R&B. It was his fifteenth R&B hit in a little more than three years. The song was written by members of the the singing group Smokey Robinson & the Miracles:Smokey Robinson, Marv Tarplin, Pete Moore, & Bobby Rodgers.. featuring Marv on guitar.) The same month Marvin Gaye would reportedly take a screen test to star in The Nat King Cole Story.

1985   Radio stations in South Africa boycotted all of Stevie Wonder’s records the day after he dedicated his winning Oscar at the Academy Awards to Nelson Mandela.

 

1991   MC Hammer sold out the Tokyo dome in Tokyo, japan in only six hours. The only other acts to accomplish that were Michael Jackson and the Rolling Stones.

 

1998   Patti LaBelle appeared at the Boston department store Filene’s, while promoting her newest endeavor, Patti LaBelle’s Signature fragrance Collection.

 

2000   Ray Charles, Whitney Houston, Isaac hayes, and Queen Latifah sang a special medley of previously-nominated Oscar songs at the Academy Awads presentation in Los Angeles.

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