#1 R&B Song 1957: “Mr. Lee,” the Bobbettes

Born: Cissy Houston, 1933; Johnny Mathis, 1935; Arzel “Z.Z.” Hill, 1035; Frankie Lymon (the Teenagers), 1942; Marilyn McCoo (the Fifth Dimension), 1943; Sylvia Peterson (the Chiffons), 1946; Patrice Rushen, 1954


1957 The legendary girl group the Chantels’ first single, “He’s Gone,” written by Lead singer Arlene Smith, debuted on the charts, peaking at #71 pop.

1957 Little Richard’s “Keep A Knockin’ ” charted on its way to #2 R&B and #8 pop.

1957 The Val Chords’ “Candy Store Love” and the Sh-Booms’ “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire” were released. The Sh-Booms were actually the Chords of “Sh-Boom” fame.

1967 The Precisions entered the R&B hit list with one of the great but overlooked soul singles of the late ’60s, “If This Is Love (I’d Rather Be Lonely),” reaching #26 and #60 pop.

1972 Chuck Berry’s single “My Ding-A-Ling” charted R&B, reaching #42. It went on to reach #1 pop. It was the last of Chuck’s twenty-three hit R&B singles, and the only #1 pop he ever had. The song had been previously recorded by New Orleans musician Dave Bartholomew in 1952 and by the Bees in 1954 under the name “Toy Bell.” The risqué tune was also cut by Chuck in 1966 under the name “My Tambourine.” His hit version was backed by the Average White Band.

1991 Diana Ross, spokeswoman for the National Children’s Day Foundation, spoke before a House Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families, in Washington, DC.

1993 Whitney Houston and husband Bobby Brown had their limousine pulled over at New York’s Kennedy International Airport by nine police officers with guns drawn, looking for drugs.

1995 Mary J. Blige reached #17 in England with her recording of “Mary Jane (All Night Long),” based on “All Night Long,” the hit by the Mary Jane Girls that was written and produced by Rick James. The record made it to #37 R&B without selling any singles; it earned its chart status strictly from airplay, and the label decided (unwisely) not to issue a single for the public.

1998 Luther Vandross performed at the Johannesburg Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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