| || || |
| || || |
| || || |
| || || |
On September 30th, in 1933, secular and gospel singer, songwriter, and actress-Cissy Houston (Emily Drinkard) was born in Newark, New Jersey. Before I get into her musical accomplishments, I want to take some time to break down all of the people that are directly related to Cissy that are musicians of some sort. She’s Whitney Houston’s mother, she’s Dionne & Dee Dee Warwick’s aunt, making Whitney, Dionne & Dee Dee cousins. She’s cousins with Leontyne Price, the infamous opera singer. It’s quite apparent that vocals run in the DNA.
Now for her accomplishments. Cissy has done it all, she’s been the lead and played the back. She started out on the Atlantic imprint as a member of The Sweet Inspirations. This is the mid to late 60s. Cissy left the vocal quartet to work with her niece Dionne as a member of The Drinkard Sisters. She put out a few solo LPs during the 70s. The early ones are more sultry and soulful, where as the later LPs are heavily rooted in Disco. She’s sang back-up too for a few notables like: Aretha Franklin, David Bowie, Chaka Khan, Van Morrison, Elvis Presley, Beyonce and Jimi Hendrix.
On September 30th, in 1942, the man that brought us energetic doo wop hits like: Goody Goody, Baby Baby, and the classic Why Do Fool Fall In Love-Frankie (Joseph) Lymon was born ‘Uptown’, Harlem, New York City, New York. Frankie was the youngest in the group ‘The Teenagers’. He was brought into the fold as a back-up, but when the lead singer got sick before their first major performance, Frankie stepped in, & the rest is history.
The group name changed to Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers. Jealousy from the original members set in, as the label was more eager to pay one artist rather than 5, so they split. As a result of the guilt, as it’s portrayed in his life story by Larenz Tate, Frankie started using heroine. He never kicked, it killed his career because he’d show up very late, show up high, or not show at all. He overdosed on smack February 27th, in 1968. He was 25 years-old.
…‘get it on, bang a gong, get it on’…On September 30th, in 1947, guitarist, songwriter, singer, keyboardist and original founding member of T. Rex-Marc Bolan (Mark Feld) was born in Stoke Newington, London, England, UK. He got his start on the school playgrounds, after being inspired by eaerly Rock ‘n’ Rollers like Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and the like. He’d play guitar for friends during recess breaks, instead of hanging on the monkey bars. At 15, he was kicked out of school for his behavior. He had to become a Rock star at that point.
In the mid 60s he began recording and put out his first song (All at Once). He also started dabbling in psychedelic Folk music that he’d record on the Decca imprint. After he didn’t sell much, the label sold his contract to Track Records, who’d eventually repossess his band’s equipment to re-coop their losses in sales of Bolan’s LPs and singles. The artist was undaunted and started his own band-T. Rex, who ironically enough, went on to be quite successful. Lesson here: never give up on your dreams. He passed away in 1977 from a car wreck. He was 29 years old. Sidebar: Bolan was once an unsuccessful Folk singer, then went the total opposite direction and became the successful innovator for Glam Rock...'If you don't like the results, do the opposite.'-Ahmored Tieghur.
On September 30th, in 2011, the guitarist and songwriter for Motown for five decades (1958-2008), and the lead guitarist for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles (the Miracles without Smokey too) from the 1950s through the 70s-Marvin ‘Marv’ Tarplin was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Tarplin penned Tracks of My Tears which was a huge hit for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. In 1965, Tarplin was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for the song. He also wrote and played for the Supremes with and without Diana Ross (Time to Breakdown).
Tarplin didn’t stop laying six string licks there, he also worked with Marvin Gaye and the Marvelettes. He out lasted the tenure of most of the artists he worked with on the label (Motown). By the time he walked away from Motown (2008), all of the artists he’d written for or played for were either dead or no longer on the label. He brought us the ‘Sound of Young America’. He was 70 years-old when he passed away.
Honorable Mention: On September 30th, in 1991-Diana Ross was reaching back to help the Children by speaking at the Nation’s Capitol on their behalf. Ross was the spokeswoman for the National Children’s Day Foundation. She addressed the House Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families in Washington, DC. I appreciate Miss Ross speaking up for the underdog. S.O. for that.
On September 30th, on her Mother Cissy Houston’s birthday, daughter Whitney Houston and then husband Bobby Brown got pulled over by the cops like they were Queen of the South and Pablo Escobar. The cops pulled their limousine over as it was headed to New York’s Kennedy International Airport. The fuzz had been tipped off that the couple may have ‘drugs’ on their person. Sidebar: how TF Bobby gonna make it look like Whitney made him snort first when he was smoking crack in the 80s? Shameful how folks can say anything about you once you're gone.
On September 30th, in 2008, Infamous Civil Rights Attorney-J. L. Chestnut Jr. returned home. He was 77 years-old when he passed. Chestnut was the first Black lawyer in Selma, Alabama. While litigating, he managed to defend several people that came face-to-face with Jim Crow. He also helped the Black Farmers sue the US Government for neglecting to give them assistance, and for denying them subsidies they regularly afforded to White farmers (Queen Sugar). The US Department of Agriculture had to give up their racists ways on that tip, it still goes on, just more covertly.
On September 30th, in 2016, A young student from Philly used Bruce Springsteen’s signature to try to get out of school. As the story goes, Michael Fenetry wanted to see the Boss so much that he skipped class. When he returned, he handed his teacher a type written letter with the Boss’ signature at the bottom. He wanted to attend the meet and greet with Springsteen and get his copy of Born to Run signed (Springsteen’s autobiography). One of my students forged my name to their parents for a prom dress. That’s a far cry from seeing the Boss.
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!