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On October 11th, in 1919, Jazz BeBop & Hard Bop innovator, producer, bandleader, musician and co-founder of the Jazz Messengers-Art Blakey AKA Abdullah Ibn Buhania (birth name Arthur Blakey) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Blakey was the ‘James Brown’ or ‘George Clinton’ of the Jazz world. He helped several budding artists hone their chops in his Jazz Messenger’s band: Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Wynton Marsalis, and Benny Golson to name a few. All of these musicians went on to have successful solo careers. He got his start in the 40s working with Fletcher Henderson and Billy Eckstine’s big band. He also helped shape the sound of BeBop recording and afterhours jamming with:
Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Horace Silver. Blakey & Silver founded the Jazz Messengers in the 50s. Shortly after, Silver went solo with and Blakey remained the bandleader. His drumming style is unique, a lot like a Clyde Stubblefield meets Elvin Jones. Hard beats, rooted in percussions but smoothed out over nice melodies. His career and recordings spanned four decades (1947-1987). He passed away in 1991 from lung cancer (Manhattan, NYC, NY). He was 71.
On October 11th, in 1946, singer, songwriter, guitarist, pianist and one half of the 80s Rock band Hall & Oates-Daryl Hall (Daryl Franklin Hohl) was born in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Daryl was seasoned on the streets of Philadelphia, being heavily influenced by TSOP and Northern Soul vocal groups of the 50s and 60s (Doo Wop-early Rock ‘n’ Soul). He attended Temple University majoring in Music. While there, he worked heavily with seminal TSOP producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff as a writer and sessions musician (early 60s). He and 4 other Caucasian Temple U students formed the vocal group The Temptones in 1965 (influenced by the Temptations).
They were so popular during the mid-60s, that they beat out veteran groups like The Delfonics and The Ambassadors at a contest help at Uptown Theater. They were like the Beastie Boys of the vocal group scene. In the late 60s, Hall met Oates and they formed the group Hall & Oates, who were signed by Atlantic Records, managed by Tommy Mottola, and their 1972 debut was produced by Arif Mardin (Whole Oates). They released 18 LPs from 1972 to 2006 (three decades), the majority of them during the 70s. Their early work is more funky and soulful, less pop-tinged, although their pop music is also good. Hall put out 5 solo projects from 1980 to 2011. He’s 72 years-old today.
On October 11th, in 1971, Female Pioneering Emcee, actress, Dee Jay, producer, mentor, public speaker, and model-MC Lyte (Lana Michelle Moorer) was born in Brooklyn, NYC, NY. Lyte was one of the first Female solo Emcees to have her own LP. Before that, most Female Emcees belonged to groups (Sequence, Funk 4+1, US Girls, Salt-N-Pepa), or had singles only. Lyte got on via Audio Two (the Robinson brothers-DJ Gizmo & Milk D). They grew up together, and Giz & D’s pops started First Priority for them. He cut a distribution deal with Atlantic that required the imprint to allow Lyte to have a solo LP (Lyte’s Emcee name at the time was Sparkle & she beat many male Emcees in battles). The rest is history, she came out with her debut LP-Ltye as a Rock in 1988.
The single, and maybe more importantly, the video for Paper Thin, which changed the Emcee game for dudes and females, was her initial single. Another notable cut on the LP is 10% Dis, which was a response to Antoinette’s battle LP against Lyte. She dropped Mathematics a lot of folks didn’t pick up on, in the song title (10%-implying Antoinette was a devilish emcee), and in her lyrics when she spits: I thought I oughta tell ya, better yet Warn, that I am like a stock and MY WORD IS BOND. A year later she came out with Eyes on This (1989). This is her best LP in my opinion. It has several dope cuts on it like Cha Cha Cha, Stop Look Listen, Not Wit a Dealer, Cappuccino, Slave to the Rhythm, Funky Song, and Throwin’ Words at You. She currently DJs, performs and acts. She’s 47 today.
On October 11th, in 1991, two days after Thalmus Rasulala passed away from heart complications, one of the greatest comedians of all time-Red Foxx (John Elroy Sanford) passed away in Los Angeles, California from heart trouble as well. Born in the Show Me State’s infamous city-St. Louis, and raised in Bronzeville on the South Side of Chicago by his half-Seminole mother Mary Hughes, Foxx would get his comedic start in the early 40s via the responses he got from co-workers while being a dishwasher. He met Detroit Red (Malcolm X, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz) in the 40s as well, as Foxx was known as Chicago Red (because of his complexion and hair color).
He did the Eastcoast nightclub scene from the late 40s through the 50s, getting his big break from Jazz singer Dinah Washington. She took Sanford West (California), and to the Vegas strip where he killed for Black and White audiences. His explicit, in your face, raw style, was very innovative. He was one of the first Black comedians to: record explicit LPs, have his own sit-com on a major network, influence ALL of the comics that came after him regardless of ethnicity, and have his own comedy hour on a major network. Foxx did it all, and then some. He’s considered one of the funniest comedians of all-time. He was 68 years-old when he returned home.
…‘People don’t let money, don’t let money change you…all mighty dollar’…On October 11th, in 2005, producer, pianist, lead singer, songwriter and the face of the seminal Rock band Queen-Freddie Mercury had been gone from Earth for ‘quite some time’ (1991). He’d left his sister-Kashmira Cooke (r) his 1974 Silver Shadow Rolls Royce. She put it eBay, yes, eBay…The Silver Shadow hadn’t hit the streets since 2002. It was only used then to take the Bulsara family to the premiere of We Will Rock You-Queen’s musical. She advertised that the car would come with Freddie’s Mansize Kleenex that has been left in the vehicle…
Not sure if the car sold or not. Queen had several hits with Mercury as lead: We Are the Champions, Bohemian Rhapsody, We Will Rock You and Under Pressure to name a few. The band put out 15 LPs from 1973 to 1995. Freddie also released two solo LPs in 1985 & 1988 (Mr. Bad Guy & Barcelona). He had a short career, 1969-1991 (22 years), but in that shot time, he managed to transform the importance of the lead signer having good pipes in Rock music. Queen’s sound helped influence 80s Rock bands like Europe, Chicago, Hair Bands with the polished Heavy Metal sound and numerous others. Mercury passed in 1991, he was 45.
Honorable Mention: On October 11th, in 1924, the first annual All-Black Fall Classic got started-The Colored World Series of Negro League Baseball. The first match-up was between the Philadelphia Hilldales (ECL-Eastern Colored League) and the Kansas City Monarchs (National Negro League). Chicago, Illinois hosted the event. The Monarchs won 5 games to 4 in a heated series.
On October 11th, in 1986, Michael Jackson’s little sister Janet Jackson had her first US number one song with When I Think of You. Today marks the first day of its 2 week run (number 10 on the UK chart). On the same day, Cameo had a number 1 R&B song with Word Up. Cameo was a former Casablanca imprint band that has several sampled cuts throughout their discography. The bad was very good at merging Hard Rock, with Funk, Soul & Hip Hop.
On October 11th, in 1995, Westcoast Emcee Tupac Shakur was released from jail on $1.4 million bail. Death Row Records owner-Suge Knight posted the bail as an agreement that Pac would pay Knight back the $1.4 million by releasing 3 LPs on the label. We all know once Pac fulfilled his obligations, Suge didn’t want to let him go. So much so, I believe at least, he had him shot.
On October 11th, in 2006, Madonna did the Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie trend-adopted a child of color. The Material Girl adopted a one year-old male child from Malawi, Africa. The father of the child-Yohane Banda was asked about how he felt about his son’s future in the states: ‘I know he will be very happy in America.’ The child’s mother had passed away a week after he was born, most likely due to complications suffered during birth.
For more information on any musician or event reviewed in posts, or for additional information on the Wandering Eyes Blog overall, use the search bar and search the artist or event using keywords. It’s like a Google search for the site. A myriad of information, covering several topics exists on this site going back to 2013 when it was created. PEACE!