ON THIS DAY IN BLACK MUSIC HISTORY: JULY 23

#1 R&B Song 1949:  “Trouble Blues,” the Charles Brown Trio

Born:  Cleve Duncan (the Penguins), 1935

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1962   The Shirelles charted with “Welcome Home Baby,” a logical sequel to their last hit, “Soldier Boy.” The single made it to #20 R&B and 322 pop. Soon after, a publisher offered the group’s manager, Florence Greenberg, a new tune as a follow-up called “He’s A Rebel.” Florence turned it down, and the Crystals went on to have a #1 hit with it.

1968   James Brown Day was declared in Los Angeles to honor his sellout concert at the Great Western Forum. Unfortunately, James was not there to accept the award. He had already left the proceedings because Mayor Sam Yorty showed up late. Moral:  don’t keep the “Godfather of Soul” waiting.

1977   Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” reached #1 in England and would soon be #3 pop in America. The “Queen of Disco” started out in the  German productions of Hair and Godspell before being discovered by producer Giorgio Moroder at a Blood, Sweat & Tears demo session.

1983   Rick James charted with “Cold Blooded,” reaching #1 R&B for six weeks and earning him his biggest R&B hit of twenty-seven singles through 1989. The song, reportedly written about his then-girlfriend, actress Linda Blair, only made it to #40 pop as MTV was ignoring Rick’s and most Black artist’s videos.

1983   “All Night Long” by the Mary Jane Girls charted, eventually reaching #11 R&B. It was a  busy and productive year for Rick James, who wrote and produced the record.

1988   After a twenty year hiatus, the original Danleers of “One Summer Night” fame regrouped at the Westbury Music Fair on Long Island.

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