ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: JUNE 29

#1 R&B Song 1959:  “Personality,” Lloyd Price

Born:  Leonard Lee (Shirley & Lee, 1936; Little Eva (Eva Narcissus Boyd), 1943

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1946   Louis Jordan and Ella Fitzgerald charted with their duet on the rousing “Stone Cold Dead in the Market (He Had It Coming),” reaching #1 R&B for five weeks and #7 pop.

1953   The Drifters recorded their first song today, “Lucille,” which would become their third R&B chart hit (#7).

1956   The Channels recorded their classic “The Closer You Are” ($250). Sharing the session (to save money) were label mates the Continentals, who then recorded their beautiful ballad “Dear Lord” ($30).

1963   James Brown’s first album, Live at the Apollo, debuted on the pop charts today, eventually rising to #2. As with his pop singles, even though he had enormous chart success, he never had a #1 pop album. Though could go on to have forty-nine albums hit the pop charts through 1988, Live would remain his all-time biggest success and would be considered a milestone in the development of live albums for years to come.

1968   Pigmeat Markham, one of the few comedians to hit the singles charts, did it today with “Hear Comes the Judge,” which reached #4 R&B and #19 pop. The title line was from a recurring gag on TV’s Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In show.

1985   Whitney Houston stormed onto the singles chart with “Saving All My Love For You,” an eventual #1 pop and R&B. She would go on to have eleven pop #1 singles through 2002. The song was originally done in 1982 by Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, formerly of the Fifth Dimension.

1985   The Mary Jane Girls entered the R&B charts with “Wild and Crazy Love,” reaching #10 and #42 pop. It was their follow-up to their break-through hit, “In My House,” which reached #3 R&B and #7 pop. Both were written and produced by Rick James.

1991   Dionne Warwick, Chaka Khan, En Vogue, Levert, and Dianne Reeves, among others, performed on the Celebrate the Soul of American Music  TV show.

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