July 13: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Gerald Levert
1928: Robert N.C. Nix, Jr. was born. He was the first African American Chief Justice of any state’s highest court, and the first African American to be elected to statewide office in Pennsylvania. He passed away in 2003 at age 75.
1930: Sam Greenlee was born. He is a writer best known for his controversial novel The Spook Who Sat by the Door, first published in London in 1969, and was chosen as The Sunday Times Book of the Year. The novel was subsequently made into the 1973 movie of the same name.
1935: Earl Lovelace was born. He is an award-winning Trinidadian novelist, journalist, playwright, and short story writer.
1936: Albert Ayler was born. He was an avant-garde jazz saxophonist, singer and composer. He disappeared on November 5, 1970 and was found dead in NYC’s East River on November 25, a presumed suicide.
1946: ‘The Gypsy’ by the Ink Spots was the Number One R&B song this day.
1948: Daphne Maxwell Reid was born. She is an actress of film and television. Perhaps, best known for her role as (the 2nd) Vivian Banks on the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1993 until 1996. She turns 65 today.
1954: The Dominoes began a two-week stint at Las Vegas’ Sahara Hotel.
1954: Danitra Vance was born. She was an actor, comedian and was the first African American woman to become an SNL repertory player in 1985. She passed away in 1994 at age 40 of breast cancer.
1956: Michael Spinks was born. He is a retired boxer who was an Olympic gold medalist and world champion in the light-heavyweight and heavyweight divisions. He turns 57 today.
1959: The Eternals charted with their debut 45, “Rockin’ in the Jungle,” an eventual R&B novelty standard even though it only reached #78 pop.
1959: Sam Cooke’s dreamy yet bouncy ballad, “Only Sixteen” Charted.
1963: Stevie Wonder’s The Twelve Year Old Genius charted, becoming #1 pop and making Stevie the first artist to top the album, R&B singles, and Hot 100 singles charts all at the same time.
1963: ‘That’s the Way Love Is’ by Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland charted and eventually reached #11.
1963: Anthony Jerome ‘Spud’ Webb was born. He is a retired NBA point guard and was one of the shortest players in NBA history (5 feet 7 inches). He is currently the President of the Basketball Operations for the Texas Legends, the D-League team for the Dallas Mavericks in Frisco, Tx. He turns 50 today.
1966: Gerald Levert was born. He was an R&B singer, songwriter and producer. He passed away in 2006 at age 40.
1971: Tyrin Turner was born. He is an actor of film and television. He turns 42 today.
1974: Gladys Knight & the Pips’ “On and On” became their fourth consecutive gold 45 when it peaked at #5 pop. It reached #2 R&B.
1974: Deborah Cox was born. She is an R&B singer, songwriter and actress. She turns 39 today.
1985: B.B. King, Patti LaBelle, the Four Tops, Tina Turner, Lionel Richie, David Ruffin, and Eddie Kendrick were among the stars who performed at Live Aid at Philadelphia’s JFK Stadium. Teddy Pendergrass also performed. It was his first live performance since being paralyzed in a car accident in 1982.
1993: Fats Domino and Ray Charles performed at the Westfalenhalle 1 in Dortmund, Germany, on their European tour.
2010: Vernon Baker passed away. He was a soldier who belatedly received the Medal of Honor for his role in World War II. He was one of just seven black soldiers to receive it and the only living recipient. He was 90 years old.
2012: Willis Edwards passed away. He was a civil rights and political activist in Los Angeles’ black community and former leader of the Beverly Hills-Hollywood branch of the NAACP, a controversial force behind its entertainment industry Image Awards. He was 66 years old.
2012: Warren Jabali passed away. He played professionally in the ABA from 1968 to 1975 and was named rookie of the year. He was 66 years old.