ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: APRIL 29

#1 Song 1972:   “The First Time,” Roberta Flack

 

Born:   Duke Ellington, 1899; Big Jay McNeeley, 1927; Carl Gardner (the Coasters), 1928; Tammi Terrell (Thomasina Montgomery), 1946

 

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1944   “G.I. Jive” by Louis Jordan charted, reaching #1 R&B for six weeks as well as #1 pop for two. Jordan’s recording’s hold the R&B record for most weeks at #1, an astounding 113 weeks.

 

 

1950   Johnny Otis & His Orchestra jumped on the R&B charts with “Cry Baby,” reaching #6. The vocals were done by Mel Walker & the Bluenotes (not Harold Melvin’s group).

 

1956   To capitalize on Elvis Presley’s revival hit of “Money, Honey,” Atlantic Records reissued Clyde McPhatter & the Drifters’ three-year-old original in both the pop and R&B markets.

 

 

1957   “The Negro disk jockey, once considered a rarity on the nation’s airwaves, has become almost commonplace in this day and age,” Ellis Waters stated today in the New Negro men’s magazine, Duke. The writer continued: “There are now more than 500 Negro platter spinners on the air across the nation.” He described disc jockeying as the “newest Negro industry,” a $250 million annual business.

 

1960   Sam Cooke began a week’s engagement at New York’s Apollo Theater.

 

1967   Cincy Birdsong (Patti LaBelle & the Blue Belles) made her stage debut as a replacement for Florence Ballard in the Supremes at the Hollywood Bowl in a benefit concert for the UCLA School of Music. Also performing was the Fifth Dimension.

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