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On March 3rd, 1938, singer, guitarist, songwriter, and founding member of The Chambers Brothers-Willie Chambers (c) was born in Carthage, Mississippi. Willie is most noted for co-writing the band’s classic Time Has Come Today (with his brother Joe), as well as for singing lead on In The Midnight Hour (a Wilson Pickett cover). Willie has four brothers-accounting for 80% of the band: eldest brother George on bass, Joe on guitar & vocals, Lester on Harmonica, and Willie on guitar & vocals. Brian Keenan (drums) was the only non-family member in the band. Willie & his brothers started off singing and performing in the church choir. They toured and played gospel mostly, with tinges of folk (George played washtub bass at the time).
George was drafted into The Army in 1952, and the brothers resettled in Los Angeles. They soaked up the California culture, and played folk mostly, as they honed their chops throughout the 1950s and early 1960s. In 1965, they ‘electrified’ (bass & guitar) and picked up drummer Brian Keenan. Towards the end of the decade, they developed a more rock-based sound. Their 1968 hit Time Has Come Today put them on the musical map, and listeners took notice nationally and internationally. Willie (above-c) stayed with the band the entire time they were a unit. After they disbanded in 1976, he went on to produce, write, and do session work for others with his brother Lester. Willie Chambers is 81 today.
On March 3rd, 1966, rapper, actor, producer, and voice-over for the cartoon C-Bear And Jamal-Tone Loc (Anthony Terrell Smith) was born in Los Angeles, California. Tone hit the rap scene in the late 80s. He was 23 when his first full-length major label LP Loc-ed After Dark dropped on Delicious Vinyl in 1989. Te album featured the crossover hits Funky Cold Medina & Wild Thing. There were actually more hip hop-tinged cuts on the LP like The Homies, Cheeba Cheeba, and Cutting Rhymes however. The video for Funky Cold Medina got heavy rotation, which bolstered Loc’s popularity. As a result, his LP reached #1 in The US (now certified double platinum). He made his acting debut in 1990, appearing in The Return Of Superfly and The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane.
In 1991, he released his follow up LP Cool Hand Loc. His reputation from the first LP brought Loc more video and airplay than other rappers-but his sophomore effort didn’t sell as well as the first. Tone turned back to acting-having a reoccurring role as Ronnie Paxton on the TV sitcom Roc (1992-1994). He also did his first voice-over that same year, as Pee-Wee, for the cartoon film BeBe’s Kids. In 1993 he appeared in the Mario Van Peebles film Posse, as the bandit Angel. He worked with John Singleton in Poetic Justice as J Bone. Loc even did a song for the Ace Ventura: Pet Detective soundtrack in 1994. He continues to act and do voice-overs for films, TV shows, and commercials from 1995 to the current date. He’s 53 today.
On March 3rd, 1969, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and keyboardist for the proto-punk ska band Fishbone-John Bigham was born in Chicago, Illinois. He got his start with Miles Davis as a sideman and music director for the band during the mid 1980s (Bigham was still a teen). Around his 20th birthday, he joined Fishbone, playing on their Truth & Soul Tour. He played guitar and keyboards for the band. He also wrote songs, composed, and did some arrangements. He’s featured on their 1991 release-The Reality Of My Surroundings on Columbia Records. If you’re an SNL fan, you may have spotted their featured performance of Sunless Saturday in March of 1991 (a month before the LP dropped).
If you’re a Spike Lee fan, you may have seen Bigham in the video he directed for Fishbone for their song Everyday Sunshine. He stayed with the band for their next two LPs-Give A Monkey A Brain & He’ll Swear He’s The Center Of The Universe and Chim Chim’s Badass Revenge. Shortly after those releases, Bigham left the band to pursue a solo career. He worked as a touring guitarist, arranger, session musician, and keyboardist for Everlast from House Of Pain/Rhyme Syndicate during the mid to late 90s-and in 2001, he formed the blues soul band The Soul Of John Black with Christopher Thomas (who had previously played with jazz artists like Joshua Redman and Betty Carter). They released their self-titled LP in 2002 on Yellow Dog Records, and a second release of the album in 2003 called No Mayo. John Bigham is 50 today.
HONORABLE MENTION: On March 3rd, 2013, singer, songwriter, co-founding member of The Miracles, and songwriting partner with Smokey Robinson-Bobby Rogers passed away in Southfield, Michigan. TOV covered the artist’s birthday in the February 19th post. Please refer to it for more information. Rogers was a member of The Miracles from day one, and stayed with the group until their breakup. He wrote the hit songs The Way You Do The Things You Do and My Baby for The Temptations for Motown. Bobby Rogers was 73 at the time of his death.
On March 3rd, 2010, producer, rapper, actor, fashion designer, Biggie’s "all up in the video" partner, and owner of Bad Boy Records-Puff Daddy, P-Diddy, Puffy, Sean Combs, Puff had a stalker arrested near his house on Long Island, NY. As the story goes, Cemelia Green claimed that Puffy was her husband. However, Puffy wasn’t married at the time. It was public knowledge that he was worth roughly $350 million during the time Cemelia made her claim. Police took her into custody, and released her on a $5,000 bond.
On March 3rd, 1991, the Rodney King beating took place in Los Angeles, California. The incident occurred following a traffic stop, involving Kin evading officers. The savage beating, that followed, was recorded by an onlooker and sent to local television stations. The video spread like wildfire, and led to a shift in the lyrical content in the music culture. Hip Hop artists began referencing the beat down in their songs, art, and dance. It also unified the L.A. gangs, who called a truce to focus on police corruption/brutality, which was a shared experience all banger were subjected to.
On March 3rd, 1931, vocalist, jazz scat innovator, bandleader, professional basketball player, composer, arranger, producer, and house bandleader of Harlem’s infamous Cotton Club-Cab Calloway released a song that changed the jazz game forever: Minnie The Moocher. The song depicts a person that is constantly in need of another's possessions; and contains his famous lines that start off: Hi Dee Hi Dee Hi Dee Hi… The classic was recorded on the Brunswick imprint, out of NYC, and went on to be the first jazz recording to sell a million copies.
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