ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: JUNE 13

#1 R&B Song 1987:   “Rock Steady”, the Whispers

 

Born:   Bobby Freeman (the Romancers)

 

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1953   “Ain’t That Good News” by the Tempo Toppers was released. The group’s lead singer was a new vocalist named Little Richard.

 

1960   Clyde McPhatter signed with Mercury Records after having recorded for Atlantic Records with the Drifters and been solo for seven years.

 

1969   Trumpeted as the biggest-ever soul music festival to date, Sam & Dave, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Percy Sledge, the Staple Singers, Reverend James Cleveland, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Sister Clara Ward, and more performed at Soul Bowl ’69 at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas.

 

1970   The Three Degress’ chart debut, “Maybe,” reached #4 R&B and #29 pop. The recording was a remake of the Chantels’ 1958 standard.  (Here are the ladies of the Three Degrees performing “Maybe” live in Belgium, in the early 1990s.)

 

 

1972   The Drifters’ original lead singer, Clyde McPhatter died. He was considered by many as one of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest voices. Elvis Presley frequently stated that he wished his voice was the equal of Clyde’s.

 

1981   Almost twenty years after his last appearance, Gary “U.S.” Bonds reached #11 on the pop Top 100 with “This Little Girl,” a song produced for him by Bruce Springsteen and Miami Steve Van Zant. Bonds met Springsteen three years earlier while working at the Red Baron, a New Jersey club. He pulled Springsteen—a long-time fan who frequently performed “Quarter to Three”—onstage out of the audience to sing with him. Springsteen proposed that Bonds and Van Zant work on a comeback album eventually called Dedication, from which “This Little Girl” was pulled as a single. (Here is Gary performing his comeback hit on May 30, 1981, on Soul Train.)

 

 

(Visit Gary’s Official Website here.)

 

1992   Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson’s duet “The Best Things in Life Are Free” peaked at #10 pop and became Janet’s seventh #1 R&B.

 

 

2005   Michael Jackson was acquitted of ten counts of child molestation and conspiracy in Santa Barbara, CA, in one of the most highly-publicized trials since the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

 

2005   Destiny’s Child announced that the group was breaking up. Since their debut in 1997, the trio has reportedly sold more than 40 million records.

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