ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: JUNE 9

#1 R&B Song 1979:   “We Are Family,” Sister Sledge

 

Born:   Johnny Ace (John Alexander), 1929; Jackie Wilson (the Dominoes), 1934

 

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1956   The Five Satins’ immortal “In the Still of the Night” was picked up from the tiny Standord label and released on Ember while the Six Teens’ “A Casual Look” charted enroute to #25 pop, #7 R&B.

 

 

1958   Johnny Mathis’s Greatest Hits album reached #1. It remained there for what was then a record 490 weeks (almost ten years.)

 

1962   The Orlons leaped onto the Hot 100 with “Wah-Watusi,” rising to #2 pop and becoming their third straight Top 5 hit.

 

 

1962   Carole King’s babysitter, Little Eva, had her first single released. It became the rock ‘n’ roll standard “Locomotion,” a worldwide #1.

 

1990   MC Hammer’s album, Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, reached #1 pop and stayed there for an amazing twenty-one weeks. It had the longest run at #1 or #2 of any album since 1963. The album was ten-times platinum and stayed in the Top 200 for 108 weeks. Not a bad reimbursement for an album that cost $10,000 to make.

 

1990   Bell Biv Devoe peaked at #3 pop with their debut single, “Poison.” The mixture of hip-hop, doo-wop, and soul became the first of nine R&B hits through 1993. The trio was formerly the nucleus of the teen pop R&B group New Kids on the Block.

 

 

1994   After an argument, TLC member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez accented her displeasure by setting fire to her boyfriend’s (professional football player Andre Rison) $2 million mansion. (And you thought TLC meant “tender loving care”). The star was rewarded with a five-year “probation” sentence.

 

1998   Stevie Wonder performed in Modena, Italy, at the Pavarotti & Friends concert for his War Child Charity.

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