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On September 12th, in 1944, the man with the Bass voice, the guy that was featured on the baby-making soundtrack during the 70s-Barry White (Barry Eugene Carter) was born in Galveston, Texas. The actor, soul singer, composer, arranger, producer and songwriter collaborated heavily with Gene Page during the 70s. Barry appeared in one of my favorite Blaxpolitation films, Street Fight by Ralph Bakasi. He also made special appearances on TV series like Ally McBeal.
Barry did his best work with Page, and as a solo artist on the 20th Century Fox imprint. He's been sampled heavily by R&B and Hip Hop artists ranging from Mary J. Blige to Black Moon with Evil Dee & Mr Walt on productions (the Beatminerz). Barry's bass-baritone voice is very unique. Once you hear him speak or sing, you know exactly who he is. He is one of the first Bass Baritones to sing lead, produce, arrange, compose, and write the music and lyrics for his LPs. He passed away in 2003. He was 58 years-old.
On September 12th, in 1951 the drummer, pianist, singer, songwriter and actor-Ali Ollie Woodson (2nd L-both) was born in the Motor City, Michigan. He was raised in Town Creek, Alabama and returned to Detroit during early 80s, way after the birth of Gordy’s Hitsville studios (Motown Records). Rick James & Teena were some of the major acts keeping the label afloat during this time. Woodson was a member of the Temptations, and acted as the lead singer from 1984 to 1986, and then he’d return as the lead from 1988 to 1996.
He worked with several musicians outside of the Temptations as well, like Jean Carn (Doug Carn’s wife), Bill Pickney & Aretha Franklin. He penned and sung the hit: Treat Her Like a Lady. He had taken over for Dennis Edwards, who was the former lead that wanted to continue his solo career. Edwards is depicted loosely as Flash in the film Five Heartbeats: a selfish dude, that was all about himself and fame. It was a bad look, but good music and great voice. Woodson passed away in 2010 in Los Angeles, California. He was 58…’Flash, you want my spot?! Well you can’t get it cuz you ain’t got it!’…
On September 12th, in 1981, one of the best female vocalist to grace the microphone in a long time-Jennifer Hudson, the American Idol was born in the city of Broad Shoulders, the Windy City, Chicago, Illinois. She attended the HBCU Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma for a semester but returned home and graduated from Kennedy-King College in Chicago, Illinois.
Her vocal range took America by storm on the 3rd season of the show American Idol. She managed to make it to the final 7, but was shockingly voted off. However, MTV lists her as the 6th best American Idol. She also did her thing as an actress in the Film Dreamgirls based off the Broadway show. She was the best vocalist in trio group, but the biggest as well, therefore she was ridiculed and left. Hudson turns 37 today!
On September 12th, in 1989, the band that was rebirthed by Run DMC’s collaboration remake of Walk This Way-Aerosmith put out the tenth full-length LP: Pump. It had several singles that turned to hits like: The Other Side, Love in an Elevator and Janie’s Got a Gun. Interesting fact about the LP title: A small lesser known band attempted to sue Aerosmith for copyright infringement. The band was called Pump.
They claimed that Aerosmith had stolen their name for their LP title…pause…They lost. I mean, I could see that argument in HD if the LP the band had was self-titled, but it wasn’t. We’re talking apple and oranges here, band name versus album title. Anyways, Aerosmith made major moves after Run DMC & producer of the remake of Walk This Way-Rick Rubin, brought them out of squalor, debt and drug use. S.O. to Run DMC for saving a rock band.
On September 11th, in 2000 Jazz composer, bandleader & saxophonist-Stanley William Turrentine (Sugar Man, Mr. T), was born in the former steel manufacturing capital of the USA-Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Turrentine’s mother was a stride pianist, so music was in the DNA. His brother also played trumpet (Tommy Turrentine). Mr. T got his start with Al Cooper’s Savoy Sultans. He also played with Earl Bostic, Lowell Fulsom & Shirley Scott, who are Soul musicians for the most part. He got his Jazz break with drummer and bandleader Max Roach.
Turrentine later recorded as a sessions musician, as well as a solo artist for Creed Taylor’s CTI imprint. All-Star lineups were recording on that label during the late 60s to early 80s: Ron Carter, Grover Washington Jr, Bob James, Idris Muhammad, Richard Tee, George Benson, Eric Gale, Freddie Hubbard, Grant Green and Milt Jackson to name a few. His sax riffs have been sampled by many-Most notably KRS-One for My Philosophy (I think very deeply...). He passed away in 2000 in New York City, he was 66 years-old.
On September 12th, in 2013, the name that took the hiss out the tapes-American sound engineer Ray (Milton) Dolby passed away in San Francisco, California from complications with leukemia. He was 80 years-old. The Portland, Oregon native, is the man that founded Dolby Laboratories & innovated new techniques for noise reduction in recordings. This was an analog invention. However, it applies to ‘digital remastering’ as well.
The way the analog Dolby noise-reduction system works is that it heightens the volume of low-level high frequency sounds during recording like breath intakes, gasps, extreme high-pitched sound. It then conversely reduces them during the playback of the recording. It acts like analog compressor of sorts during playback. Thank you Ray Milton Dolby for reducing the hiss.
HONORABLE MENTIONS:…‘bone bone bone bone…bone…bone…bone…bone'…On September 12th, in 1976-Emcee, from the group Bone Thugs In Harmony-Bizzy Bone was born in Columbus, Ohio. His family later moved to Cleveland where he teamed up with Eazy-E and fellow band members to record their first LP on Ruthless Records. A lot of people say Bone got their style from the Good Life Movement in Southern California (Freestyle Fellowship, 2000 Crows, Pharcyde, Jurrasic 5, Born Allah). He turns 42 today! Sidebar: My cousin Jamal-we call him Boopie, used to love BTNH. I took a pic under the street sign at the intersection of East 1999 & Saint Clara in the late 90’s when the Fam was in Cleveland on vacation.
On September 12th, in 1977, South Africa lost one of its seminal revolutionaries-Steve Biko. Biko was a Pan-Africanist (loosely means he felt that all Black people of African descent worldwide should stand for equality and justice for their ethnicity), Anti-Aparthied Activist, and Political/Public speaker. He mobilized many of his fellow Black South Africans to do away with Apartheid. He was assassinated by the police while in their custody. He was 30 years-old when he was murdered.
On September 12th, in 1984-Doc K AKA Dr. K AKA Dwight Eugene Doc Gooden broke the Major League Baseball’s record for the most strikeouts in a single season by a rookie. He got 276 Ks to beat out the former record holder Herb Score who had 246 in his 1954 rookie season. Gooden collected 30 more strikeouts than the former record holder. He also pitched 218 innings his rookie season. The Mets had a winner, at least for that time (Daryl Strawberry too).
On September 12th, in 1992 the first woman of color to reach the outer regions (space) was NASA Afronaut Mae Jemison. She was born in Decatur, Alabama in 1956, which is a stones throw from NASA-ville (Huntsville, Alabama). Growing up around space engineers sparked an interest in Jemison and she went on to reach her ultimate goal of going to outer space. She’s serves as a role-model for all to actively pursue your goals, dreams, and ambitions…
On September 12th, in 1995, INXS’s singer Michael Hutchence stole on a photographer named Jim Bennett outside of a hotel in London, England. The singer was fined about $500 and ordered to pay court costs exceeding $2,000. That was an expensive punch. Sidebar: The UK signers don’t play about them cameras being their faces, they’ll steal on you in a Harlem second.
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 wide variety of information, covering several topics exists on this site going back to 2013 when it was created. PEACE