#1 R&B Song 1975:   “Rockin’ Chair,” Gwen McCrea


Born:   Renaldo “Obie” Benson (the Four Tops), 1936




1952   The Dominoes were so hot that they were booked at a Washington, DC. auditorium for an afternoon performance and then flew to New Orleans for an evening show.


1961   The Cleftones performed on American Bandstand singing their hit, “Heart & Soul,” while the Flamingos were in Chicago appearing at Robert’s Show Club.


1976   An Evening With Diana Ross began its performance tour at the Palace Theater in New York.


1980   Singer/dancer/actress/pianist Irene Cara earned her first taste of stardom when “Fame” (fromt the film Fame) vaulted onto the Top 100. The #4 smash was the first of her eight hits through 1984.



1980   “The Breaks (Part 1)” by Curtis Blow was issued, eventually reaching #4 R&B and consequently becoming the first rap record certified as a million seller by the RIAA.Blow studied voice at the High School of Music and Art and Communictions at New York City College and began rapping while a deejay in harlem night clubs in 1976. (Here is Curtis performing “The Breaks” on Soul Train in 1980.)



1986   Patti LaBelle, in a duet with Michael McDonald, topped the pop charts with “On My Own.” The song was recorded by each singer in separate studios 3,000 miles apart. In fact, the two did not meet until they performed the song together on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show.


1998   B.B. King was honored as the official Ambassador of Music to represent America at the World Expo ’98 in Lisbon, Portugal.

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