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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