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On September 16th, in 1925, one of the 3 Kings of the Blues Guitar-B.B. King (Riley B. King) AKA Beale Street Blues Boy AKA Blues Boy was born in Itta Bena, Mississippi. The B.B. in B.B. King stands for Blues Boy. King got his start out on the chitterling circuit and playing guitar for change on Beale Street in Memphis, TN. He now owns a performance Club and Restaurant near the same site he used to play his guitar.
King influenced several Blues and Rock guitarists like Robert Cray, John Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards. The Rolling Stones Magazine listed B.B. King as one of the 100 greatest guitarists. He’s in the top slots, behind Jimi Hendrix and Duane Allman. He passed away while he was sleeping in 2015. He suffered from complications with Type 2 Diabetes and heart trouble during the later years of his life.
On September 16th, in 1979, Big Bank Hank, Wonder Mike, & Master Gee-The Sugarhill Gang-released one of the first Hip Hop singles on wax via Sylvia Robinson’s Sugarhill Records Label-Rapper’s Delight. Big Bank Hank bit the whole verse of Casanova Fly, even spells his name out in the rhyme. However, Hank would get the credit for it and not Casanova.
This single used the riff created by Niles Rogers of Chic-Good Times. Positive Force was the studio band for Sugarhill Records. They performed their take on Roger’s song. Rapper’s Delight is one of the longest Hip Hop singles as well. The 12-inch version has several breaks and is over 9 minutes long. It is regarded as one of the most known Hip Hop singles that helped catapult Hip Hop into an official genre of music.
On September 16th, in 1996, one of the best Grunge bands to come out of the 90s-Pearl Jam, performed their first show on their No Code tour in the Grunge capital of the world-Seattle, Washington. Hats off to Pearl Jam for refusing to sell their concert tickets through the corporate powerhouse Ticketmaster. Yes, this made getting tickets for their shows much more difficult.
Yes, fans were somewhat disgruntled by it because it wasn’t ‘easy’ enough for them to obtain them. However, despite both of these factors, the show still went on without a hitch. The intelligent, resourceful and/or dedicated fans of the Grunge band Pearl Jam were able to obtain tickets. I applaud the band for not giving into the system and powers that be, and for doing it their way.
On September 16th, in 2003, The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in Sharon, Pennsylvania hosted its 6th annual induction ceremony. Some of the acts that were inducted today (fifteen years ago) include: The Isley Brothers, Earth Wind & Fire, The Impressions, The Commodores, The Whispers, Martha & the Vandellas, the Five Satins and the Charioteers.
The first five bands listed here were more of the post 60s to mid 80s R&B based groups that saw the height of their success during the 70s when Funk, Soul & R&B were all the rage. The latter three saw their successes primarily during the 50s to the late 60s when Doo Wop & Rock ‘n’ Roll were taking off. All eight are worthy of the recognition and inductions. The first three listed are my personal favorites of this 2013 class. Hello it’s Me, Clover, That’s What Love Will Do…classics!
On September 16th, in 2008, one of the greatest producers and songwriters of the late 60s to early 80s era of Black Music-Norman Whitfield, passed away in Los Angeles, California from complications with diabetes (eat more Vegan Soul people). Whitfield originally worked for The Sound of Young America (Motown), owned by Berry Gordy. Whitfield collaborated on several hits with Barrett Strong (I Heard it Through the Grapevine, Cloud 9, Ain’t Too Proud to Beg, I’m Losing You). He also made Motown plenty of money.
Shortly after Whitfield's early 70s hits were blazing the charts, he & Gordy had a riff. Whitfield split to start his own Label Whitfield Records. His handpicked group was the Undisputed Truth. They would redo some of the hits Whitfield wrote for Motown with a more Funk and Psychedelic Rock feel. He worked with Willie Hutch & most infamously Rose Royce, who kind of replaced the Undisputed Truth in the late 70s leading up to the 80s. Everyone knows that the Car Wash Soundtrack from front to back has some of the best material that Whitfield ever put out. He was 68 years-old when he died.
Honorable Mentions: On September 16th, in 1950-One of the men that has helped thousands of Displaced Africans in America find their true roots following the death of Alex Haley-Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was born in Keyser, West Virginia . His groundbreaking program that aired on PBS in 2012 is called Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. Aside from that, Dr Gates is a documentarian, writer, professor, and literary critic. He’s 68 today!
…‘Furious is who I be, I represent the I.E.!’…On September 16th, in 1953, Jazz Guitarist, composer, session musician and band leader-Earl Klugh was born in Detroit, Michigan. He is an acoustic guitarist that is world renowned by many observers and musicians. He was heavily influenced by George Benson & to a greater extent Wes Montgomery. He turns 65 today!
On September 16th, in 1970, Ronnie Scott's, the infamous Jazz and Rock performance club in London, England, UK would see Jimi Hendrix join Eric Burdon (of the Animals and soon to be the Westcoast Funk Band War) for the last time oon stage. Hendrix would pass away a few days later from an accidental drug overdose. Ronnie Scott's would be the greatest Rock guitarist’s last public appearance.
On September 16th, in 1977, Neo-Soul innovator, songwriter and singer-Taalib Johnson AKA Musiq Soulchild AKA The Husel was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He had a number one US R&B Chart LP titled: Luvanmusiq. He’s more in the vein of India Aire and Vivian Green, or Angie Stone when it comes to the Neo-Soul sound-love and emotions are mainly what he sings about, which I don't have a problem with, I just prefer the more political and substance based Neo-Soul artists like Bilal & Erykah Badu. Musiq Soulchild is 41 today!
On September 16th, in 1988, the former drummer for the Punk-New Wave band: Topper Headon got released from jail after he served a 10-months for a narcotics possession charge. His original charge and sentence mandated that he serve 15 months, but the authorities gave him some good time kudos and let him out 5 months early. The Clash is one of the best of the Punk/New Wave bands to come out of the UK.
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 Plethora of information, covering several topics exists on this site going back to 2013 when it was created. PEACE!