ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: JUNE 21

#1 R&B Song 1975:  “Give the People What They Want,” the O’Jays

Born:  Carl White (the Rivingtons), 1932; Ocie “O.C.” Smith, 1932; Mitty Collier, 1941; Brenda Holloway, 1946

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1964   B.B. King performed at Chicago’s Regal Theater. The live recording of that concert became the classic Live at the Regal album the following year.

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1978   Aretha Franklin performed in Las Vegas for the first time in eight years.

1990   Little Richard was proclaimed in Los Angeles as the rock icon was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. About this time he stated:  “I believe my music is the healin’ music. I believe my music can make the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf and dumb hear and talk, because it inspires and uplifts people. It regenerates the heart, makes the liver quiver, the bladder splatter, and the knees freeze. I’m not conceited either.”

1997   Actor and rapper Will Smith debuted on the R&B charts as a solo with “Men in Black” (M.I.B.)  from the film, which he starred in. The record reached #9 on the airplay charts. Smith was originally half of the duo D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince and starred in the TV show Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (so you can surmise which half he was).

1997   2Pac (Tupac Shakur) attacked the R&B hit list with “Smile,” reaching #4 and #12 pop. The hard-core rapper had died almost a year earlier when he was shot to death in a drive-by attack in Las Vegas. Like many rappers, 2Pac had more chart success after his demise than before as he reached the R&B Top 100 thirty-four times through 2004, twenty of those after expiring.

1998   Bobby Brown was arrested at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA, on suspicion of misdemeanor sexual battery after a purported occurrence at his pool.

2001   Blues legend John Lee Hooker—one of the few remaining links to the classic R&B and blues style that developed into the foundation of rock ‘n’ roll—died of natural causes at his home in Los Altos, CA. He had performed on more than 100 albums in a career that covered more than half a century. He influenced artists including Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, Bonnie Raitt, and Jimi Hendrix.

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1 Comment

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One response to “ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: JUNE 21

  1. Andrew

    Yeah, I like black music! But not rap, I like jazz or something like this!
    Just remember Louis Armstrong’s songs! It is only for the soul and heart!
    John Lee Hooke – his blues for me like a heart bit!
    I prefer Will Smith more like a actor, not like a rap singer. In films he look great, but in music clips sometimes funny)))
    Thanks for the memories!!!

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