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On August 20th, in 1942, the composer, actor, singer and Scientologist Isaac Hayes was born in Covington, Tennessee. He was the first African American to win an Academy Award for Music (Shaft). Isaac always managed to stay relevant during the transition from Soul to Funk to Disco to Contemporary R & B.
His name is known by a lot of the younger generation from being on South Park as the voice of Chef. Isaac Hayes helped catapult the success of the Stax label and later, kept Polydor in rotation during the late 70’s and early 80’s. He also produced for the Stax imprint and used one fo the funkiest backing bands of all-time-The Bar-Kays. His music had always been mellow & funky. He passed away in 2008 at age 65.
On August 20th, in 1948, Led Zepplin’s leadsinger-Robert Plant was born in West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England, UK. Zepplin’s classic Stairway to Heaven has sold over 35 million copies to date. Plant was an innovator of the Rock God persona. Although the band split in 1980, Plant continued to collaborate with Jimmy Page on projects throughout the 80’s. He set the standard for what a good lead singer of any band, any genre should be able to do when performing in front of a crowd or recording in a studio.
Robert Plant’s lyrical content was based in Norse Mythology, with a spiritual and blues base. Some say he combined elements of Gospel, Soul & Blues with the hard edge Psychedelic Rock sound. Plant went on to work with former Chic composer-Nile Rodgers, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck in the Honeydrippers. He also worked with Allison Krauss. He's a member of the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame and one of the most recognizable figures in rock 'n' roll.
On August 20th, in 1965, one of the best to ever rock a microphone-KRS-One (Lawrence Parker) was born in the Bronx, New York City, New York. He helped co-found Boogie Down Productions with Scott La Rock and D-Nice. He later added members Harmony (his sister), Ms Melody (his former wife), D-Square and Kenny Parker (his brother). He also produced several acts during his career: Just Ice, Mad Lion, D-Nice, Channel Live and numerous others.
He's a purveyor of the Hip Hop Culture and started the Stop the Violence Movement, HEAL (Human Education Against Lies) & the Temple of Hip Hop organizations. He’s lectured at several universities, and he won the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 for being a pioneer in Hip Hop Culture & his efforts with the Stop the Violence Movement. He’s 53 today.
On August 20th, in 1965, fans of Davy Jones, lead singer from the Lower Third and Manish Boys, would see an end to his name being printed on music credits for the band. The Lower Third’s single You’ve Got a Habit of Leaving is the last known song Davey Jones would sing on as Davey Jones. Going forward he’d be known as David Bowie, AKA Ziggy Stardust.
David changed his stage name to avoid confusion with the Monkee’s singer of the same name, Davey Jones. Bowie went on to have a groundbreaking solo career that incorporated elaborate stage shows and futuristic outfits. He worked with Niles Rodgers, Luther Vandross, John Lennon and many more. He died in 2016 from liver cancer, he was 69.
Honorable Mention: On August 20th, in 1988, Rick James and Roxanne Shante had a number 1 US R&B chart single with the song: Loosey’s Rap. Chante was a Juice Crew Native (Queens Bridge) and Rick James donned the Buffalo, New York Funk sound.
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