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On September 7th, in 1930, Post-Bop, Free & Fusion Jazz composer, saxophonist, and band leader-Sonny Rollins was born in New York City, New York. He’s one of the few, if any living Jazz musicians that has played with and seen the likes of the greats from the past: Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Max Roach, J. J. Johnson, Horace Silver, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell and the Modern Jazz Quartet to name a few.
His career has spanned over 7 decades, and he has over 60 full length LPs as a band leader. Interesting fact is that he went to jail at Rikers in the 50s for a stint on an armed robbery charge. When he got out, he hit the ground running and dedicated the rest of his life to getting loot off his horn instead of another civilian. Rollins is regarded as ‘the greatest living improvisor’. He also penned four or more songs that are considered Jazz Standards. He’s 88 today!
…‘Who is the man that would risk his life for his Brotherman?...SHAFT! Ya damn right!'...On September 7th, in 1942-The man that played Shaft-Richard Roundtree was born in the Now Rule (New Rochelle), New York City, New York. He is a model, actor, and public speaker. Roundtree made it fashionable to be a Black Male in a main role.
He made Blackness hip, cool chic, and represented for the Dark Skinned Brothers, that for a large part during the airing of Shaft were regulated to Jim Crow imagery on camera. it was just some more of that Willie Lynch divide and conquer stee. He’s been in over 50 films and 30 TV Shows. He followed up his worldwide notoriety from Shaft by starring in Shaft’s Big Score & Shaft in Africa. All three films have dope soundtracks. He’s 76 today.
…‘Cuz the boyz in the hood are always hard, ya come talkin’ that trash, we’ll pull ya card’…On September 7th, in 1963-N.W.A.’s major funding source on the frontend of the group’s rise to fame, and Emcee for the group with the original voice and Cube written Rhymes-Eric Lynn Wright AKA Eazy-E was born in Compton, California. Some call him the Godfather of Gangster Rap…
No diss to E, but I highly disagree, maybe more like Schooly D with PSK, plus E was spitting Cube’s bars, but I do give him the credit for blowing up the Gangster Rap scene. Eazy-E was more than a persona and Emcee for N.W.A. He also co-owned the label Ruthless records with Jerry Heller. He would put out groups like C.P.O., Yomo & Maulkie, Michelle, JJ Fad, and Bone Thugs and Harmony to name a few. He passed away in 1995 from complications with the disease AIDS. He was 31 years old.
On September 7th, in 1968, an early Led Zeppelin would make their debut as ‘The New Yarbirds’, at a teen club in Gladsaxe, Denmark which was a suburb in the outskirts of Copenhagen, Denmark. Members John Bonham, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones & Jimmy Page performed for about twelve hundred screaming teens. When the host introduced them, he messed up Plant’s name calling him Robert Plat.
Most reviews were good for the young band that eventually would be called Led Zeppelin. Because the band was using a name that was already in rotation amongst music buyers (Yardbirds), it was only natural that they’d have to change the name to avoid confusion. Led Zeppelin went on to shape the sounds of the 60s and 70s as far as Rock based Blues bands go.
On September 7th, in 1957, (William) Jermaine Stewart was born in Columbus, Ohio, home of the Buckeyes. He was a dancer and singer that got a chance to audition for the lead singing position in the band Shalamar. As the story goes, Stewart moved from Ohio to Chicago and became a dancer on Soul Train. He met Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniels there and they hit it off as friends.
All three would audition for Shalamar, but Stewart lost out to Gary Mumford. However, that wasn't the end of him, he toured with the group as a dancer for a while. He later sang back up for other acts like Culture Club on Miss Me Blind. When he went solo, he had a hit with ‘We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off.’ He also did some work with the Temptations. Stewart passed away in 1997 due to cancer. He was 39 years-old.
On September 7th, in 2007, two studies came out that spoke on Life Expectancy and Rock Musicians. The study found that Rock Musicians are twice as likely to die early as people with other professions, coercing the label: ‘high-risk job’. The other study was conducted by the Royal National Institute for Deaf People.
It showed that about two-thirds of people under 18 were more likely to suffer from premature hearing damage due to listening to MP3 personal playing devices. To be more specific, they found that 72 of the 110 people that participated in the study, listened to MP3 players at volumes above 85 decibels. To go further, some of the players could reach 105 decibels which is nearly the equivalent of hearing a plane take off (110 decibels).
HONORABLE MENTION: On September 7th, in 1934 : James ‘Little Milton’ Campbell Jr was born in Memphis, Tennessee (stage name: Little Milton). He electrified the Blues, wrote songs, played guitar, appeared in the Stax documentary Wattstax, and had over 25 full Length LPs to his resume. He’s recorded for several labels as well: Chess, Trumpet, Checker, Malaco & Stax to name a few. There’s more info on him in the August 4th Today, on Vinyl post.
On September 7th, in 1946, female lead vocalist for the Bernard Edwards & Niles Rogers Disco, Funk, Soul collective Chic & very close friend of Luther Vandorss-Alfa Anderson was born in Augusta, Georgia. Before joining Chic through a referral from Vandross, she sang with Cannonball Adderley, Nat Adderley, Quincy Jones, Odyssey, Major Harris, Ray Barretto, Herbie Mann, Nat Adderley and numerous others. She's 72 today!
On September 7th, in 2002: Aretha Franklin’s big sister Erma Franklin (Erma Vernice Franklin, later Garrett) returned home due to throat cancer in Detroit, Michigan. Much like her little sister, Erma sang Gospel for her father Reverend C. L. Franklin, and later sung secular music as well. She had 2 full length LPs and over 10 singles, one of which would chart-Piece of My Heart. She said she didn’t recognize Janis Joplin’s cover of her song because of the vocal arrangements. She also sang back up on Aretha’s RESPECT. She was 64.