ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: JULY 2

#1 R&B Song 1966:  “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” the Temptations.

Born:  Paul Williams (the Temptations), 1939

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1954   Lillian Leach, one of the premier R&B lead singers of the ’50s, and her group, the Mellows, signed to Jay Dee Records.

1962   Jimi Hendrix, now a member of Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers, performed at Dante’s Inferno Club in Vancouver, British Columbia. He was previously playing with Bob Fisher & the Barnevilles, who toured America backing acts like the Impressions and the Marvelettes.

1966   Dionne Warwick had her first charter after a drought of three and a half years when “Trains, Boats and Planes” cruised onto the hit survey (#22 pop).

1974   The man who brought bass singing into prominence in the ’40s and ’50s, Jimmy Ricks of the Ravens, died.

1982   DeFord Bailey, the first star of the Grand Ole Opry, died. Known as “the harmonica wizard,” Bailey was a fixture at Nashville’s WSM Barn dance radio show in 1927 and its most popular performer. After one particularly scintillating performance of his classic “Pan American Blues,” radio announcer George Hay stated, “For the last hour we have been listening to music largely from Grand Opera, but from now on we will present the Grand Ole Opry.” The Opry and its star were born.

1986   Prince’s second film, Under the Cherry Moon, debuted nationwide.

File:Under the cherry moon.jpg

 

1988   Chubby Checker & the Fat Boys charted R&B with “the Twist (Yo, Twist),” reaching #40 R&B and #16 pop. It would be the last of Checker’s thirty-five pop hits and eighteen R&B entries, a streak that started in 1959. The record reached #2 in England and was a hit throughout Europe, just as his original “Twist” from twenty-eight years earlier had been.

1988   “Dirty Diana” by Michael Jackson reached #1, becoming his fifth chart-topper in a row and the first time an artist had five #1s from the same album (Bad).

  

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