| || || |
| || || |
| || || |
On March 6th, 1974, rapper, actor, and one-time heir to the Roc-A-Fella Records throne-Beanie Sigel (Dwight Equan Grant, aka Beans, aka Beanie Mack, aka The Broad Street Bully) was born in Philadephia, Pennsylvania. Beans was viewed as the second-best rapper on the label (next to Jay-Z). Beanie Sigel made his recording debut in 2000, when he released The Truth, which did very well in sales and radio play. In 2002, Beans starred in the Roc-A-Fella film State Property (Get down, or lay down!) with his Philly brethren & label-mate Freeway.
The film also served as a vehicle to introduce his Philly-based hip hop collective also know as State Property (Beans, Freeway, Peedi Peedi, Omillio Sparks, and Oschino); which was on Beans newly formed State Property Records imprint. Beans & Freeway released a tight song off the soundtrack entitled Roc The Mic. The soundtrack made The Top 100 on Billboard (peaking at #55). In 2003 the collective released their 2nd LP-The Chain Gang Vol. 2. Beans went on to appear in State Property 2, and released his 3rd LP The B. Coming in 2005. He could also be heard as a featured rapper on many other artists’ songs. Beanie Sigel was locked up in 2006, and has battled a series of health problems since then. Beans is 45 today.
On March 6th, 1946, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger, music programmer, and the second official lead singer for the prog rock band Pink Floyd-David Gilmour was born in Cambridge, England. He’s most known as the lead vocalist and co-songwriter with Pink Floyd, after Syd Barrett left the band in 1968. Gilmour was inspired to play guitar after hearing three key songs: Rock Around The Clock by Bill Haley & The Comets, Bye Bye Love by The Everly Brothers, and Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis Presley. He even went as far to borrow a guitar, from a neighborhood kid, that he never gave back. Gilmour honed his chops during his middle school years, and attended the same high school as Syd Barrett (guitar/vocals) and Roger Waters (bassist).
During the early 1960s, he enrolled in college and joined a blues/rock band called Jokers Wild. A few years later, Gilmour and Barrett went backpacking around Europe and ‘expanded’ their minds. In 1967 he went back to working with a revamped Jokers Wild, who had changed their name to The Flowers. They didn’t make much noise, but Waters approached Gilmour in 1968 asking him to join Pink Floyd to takeover some of Barrett’s singing and performing responsibilities. By the end of year, Gilmour was the lead and Barrett was out. He is still currently a member of Pink Floyd, and is 72 today.
On March 6th, 1944, singer, dancer, member of The Primettes, songwriter, stage and film actress, author, Motown mogul, and original member of The Supremes-Mary Wilson was born in Greenville, Mississippi. Mary was the first of three children (Roosevelt & Katherine). She moved from Mississippi, to St. Louis, and then to Chicago-before settling in Detroit with her aunt and uncle. It’s here that she met and befriended Florence Ballard, who in turn asked Mary to join her in a singing group called The Primettes. They were cool as a duet; but Mary was also friends with Diana Ross, and asked her to join. Diana then invited her friend Betty McGlown to join the group, making it a quartet.
The Primettes started performing at local dances and talent shows; but once Betty’s people got wind of her singing secular music, they forbid her to be in the group any longer. This left Florence (the unofficial leader at the time-and best singer), Mary, and Diana. In the early 1960s, Berry Gordy picked them up and changed their name to The Supremes. The trio released their first hit single When The Love Light Starts Shining Through His Eyes in 1963; and their 1964 follow-up: Where Did Our Love Go made it to #1 on The U.S. Pop chart. Mary was the glue for the group, and maintains the name to this day. She turns 75 years old today.
HONORABLE MENTION: On March 6th, 1893, innovative Bluesman, singer, guitarist, songwriter, and legendary musician-Furry Lewis (Walter E. Lewis) was born in Greenwood, MS. Due to the lack of accurate birth records on the poor & people of color in America before the 20th century, music historians question the exact year of Lewis’ birth (1883 vs. 1899). A consensus does however exist around the fact that Lewis is credited as the first musician to play guitar with a bottleneck (to alter the sound). Furry Lewis was 82 when he died in 1981.
On March 6th, 1923, Jazz musician, legendary guitarist, composer, sideman, arranger, bandleader, and co-founding member of The Montgomery Brothers-Wes Montgomery (John Leslie Montgomery) was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. Wes was heavily influenced by Charlie Christian, and would spend hours duplicating his solos. He got his professional start with Lionel Hampton, before joining his brothers Wes & Buddy. After they split, he worked briefly with Jimmy Smith-before pursuing a successful solo career. The Grammy Award winning, DownBeat Jazz Hall Of Fame guitarist was 45 when he passed away in 1968.
On March 6th, 1982, Disney had to pay some dues for using the song The Lion Sleeps Tonight in their film The Lion King. Evening Birds were the first group to record the song, which had been written by then band member Solomon Linda in 1939. On the same day in 1982, a band called Tight Fit covered the song, and their single went to #1 on The UK charts. Fast forward to 2004, and Solomon’s family was heated that Disney had used the song without permission and/or royalty payments. Disney settled out of court for an undisclosed amount in 2006.
On March 6th, 2009, we lost one of the most-heard session guitarists for soul and pop music from the 1960s to the 1980s-David Williams. Williams was influenced by Wes Montgomery, and took his jazz style to the pop and soul market. He started off playing with The Dells, but was then went to Vietnam. When he returned in 1972, he started working at Motown (after the label had moved its offices to Los Angeles, CA). Williams produced and played for The Temptations, Chanson, Michael Jackson, Earth Wind & Fire, The Pointer Sisters, Lionel Richie, Stevie Nicks, Shalamar, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, and Herbie Hancock. David Williams passed away in Hampton, VA, at the age of 58.
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