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On September 2nd, in 1928, composer, bandleader and pianist/organist Horace Silver was born in Norwalk, Connecticut. Horace worked with many official Jazz musicians-Miles, Joe Henderson, Hank Mobley, and mentors Art Blakely with the Jazz Messengers, of which Silver was member for stint. Silver also worked with Stan Getz. Silver branched out and went solo, forming The Horace Silver Quintet/Sextet with vocalist Islamic Moor brothers Salome & Andy Bey. I was introduced to Horace Silver's Post-Bop, Free Jazz and Fusion Styles that he used in the late 60s to early 70s, via my Father’s record collection.
Pops had the Total Response joint, which is by far the best out of a series of these United States of Mind Blue Note LPs. However, I didn't discover that there was a series of these until I dug deeper in the crates. Pops used to always play the last three cuts on side A: Won’t You Open Your Senses, I’ve Had a Little Talk, and Soul Searching…Substance music…Things that are more relevant today in this age of instant gratification-hedonism-selfishness-than they were then. Horace Silver died in 2014 at age 85. S.O. to Pops for putting me up on game with Horace & giving me TRUE Knowledge of Self.
On September 2nd, in 1939, male Soul Music Vocalist with the Impressions-Sam Gooden (C) was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He migrated to Chicago, Illinois during his childhood and met up with neighborhood singers Curtis Mayfield, Jerry Butler, Fred Cash, LeRoy Hutson, and Clifton Davis. Sam was with the group from the beginning. He would see Jerry Butler go solo, and LeRoy Hutson as well.
Curtis Mayfield also went solo, but he managed to continue to write some songs for the group. The Impressions saw their fame climb during the late 60s with Curtis’ falsetto as the lead on conscious cuts like Keep on Pushin’, We’re a Winner, and the more soulful It’s Alright & I’m So Proud. The Impressions peaked in the early to mid-70s. One of their best post-Curtis LPs, in my opinion, is the Three the Hard Way soundtrack.
On September 2nd, in 1946, William Everett Preston-Billy Preston was born in Houston, Texas. Preston got his musical start in the church playing organ and singing. He left the spiritual music world for the secular around the early 60s. Working with Little Richard, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Sly & The Family Stone, The Beatles, and many more.
He eventually went solo and produced, penned and performed Will it Go Round in Circles. He produced other artists music as well, and had a duet LP with Syreeta Wright-Stevie Wonder’s previous songwriting partner and spouse. Billy was well known for his Afro, music and smile. He passed away in 2006, he was 59.
‘Oooooooooooh Yeah!’…On September 2nd, in 1969-half of Jodeci’s front men-Cedric Hailey AKA K-Ci, was born in Monroe, North Carolina. His brother Joel JoJo Hailey, makes up the other half of the lead vocalists of the group Jodeci. They got their break into the industry on Uptown Records singing back-up hooks for Father M.C. Dalvin & DeVante worked with the K-Ci & JoJo, adding production and backing vocals.
They formed the group Jodeci. K-Ci had hits with the group doing covers songs for Stevie Wonder (Lately) & Bobby Womack (If You Think You’re Lonely Now-Jason's Lyric Soundtrack), but he also did his thing on original works like Come & Talk to Me, Get on Up and Forever My Lady. K-Ci & JoJo sang hooks for Hip Hop acts as well, making his voice known throughout the Culture (Tupac, Gangstarr, Nas). He’s 49 today.
On September 2nd, in 1972, Griffin, Indiana experienced a near riot over music, or the lack thereof, depending on your perspective. A Woodstock like concert was taking place: The Erie Canal Soda Pop Festival. It was held on Bull Island, which is close to Griffin, Indiana. It spanned three days and promoters estimated that there would be about 50,000 attendees. However, approximately 200,000 concert goers showed up. Lack of space and adequate facilities made for a hostile environment.
The list of performers included: The Eagles, Cheech & Chong, Canned Heat, Lee Michaels, Albert King, Back Oak Arkansas and many more. As the concert went on, a lot of bands pulled out because it was beginning to turn into a ‘situation’. There were at least three deaths, all of which were people that drowned in the Wabash River. After the last set was performed on day three, the attendees burned the stage down.
On September 2nd, in 2006, Mr.Bigs AKA Ronald Isley, was given prison time for tax evasion. Ronald served as the Isley Brothers’ lead singer and songwriter. He also collaborated with R. Kelly & Angela Winbush (former wife). The IRS filed a suit against him for unpaid back taxes. They locked him up because he couldn’t afford to pay the mandated $3.1 million.
The IRS deemed his evasion as ‘pathological’, and although Ronald tried to show a different side to his errant, lavish and under-reported spending, the IRS had a mountain of evidence against the singer that killed those hopes of leniency: cashing checks in his deceased brother’s name (Kelly), having unreported shows, and spending the money he’d made off them without declaring it, etc…They gave him three years in a Federal Prison…‘Why, I keep hearing footsteps, in the dark.’
Honorable Mentions: On September 2nd, in 1911-collage innovator and mixed media sculpture/painter-Romare Bearden was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. The innovative and culturally aware artist (woke in millennial jargon) left his staple on the Queen City, having parks, galleries and events named after him. He died in 1988, he was 76.
On September 2nd, in 1941-Georgetown Hoyas Basketball Coach-the one and only-John Thompson was born in Washington, D.C. He had a two year career with the Celtics as a center, and then moved on to coaching full-time in 1966. He made the rest of the world take notice of the Big East Conference and the All Black Teams he’d recruit at a predominantly White University. He won the NCAA Championship in 1984, defeating Phi-Slamma Jamma Houston in the Finals. He’s 76 today! (Name some players he’s coached and some folks he’s beat in the comments).
On September 2nd, in 1958, Simply Red band member Fritz McIntyre was born in Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom. He’s most known for his backing vocals and keyboard playing on the hit song Holding Back the Years. The band put out 5 albums that donned hits on each one while McIntyre was a member. He turns 60 today!
On September 2nd, in 1965, former Heavyweight World Champion boxer Lennox Lewis was born in West Ham, London England (Also a Canadian Citizen). He had a career with over 40 fights and only two losses. One of his biggest wins was when he easily, I do mean easily, defeated Iron Mike Tyson…so much so that Tyson cleaned up his face for him, wiping sweat off of it, during post the post fight interviews… ‘Your bark was loud, but ya bite wasn’t vicious’…
On September 2nd, in 1973, the man that brought us the phrase-‘Lemme Check My Palm Pilot’-Katt Williams was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Katt worked closely with Nick Cannon on Wild Out, Ice Cube of his Friday series, and had his own TV series and stand-up comedy events. He was blowing up majorly until he started exposing those True Hollywood Stories, then, it was like his career kind of fizzled and he was always in the cross-hairs of the press and police (Killuminati)…He’s 45 today!
On September 2nd, in 1995, R. Kelly penned and produced You Are Not Alone song (performed by Michael Jackson)-went to number 1 on the US pop chart. Kelly wrote the song for the King of Pop Michael Jackson, who sang it like only Michael could. The song was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the first song to ever debut as number 1 in the 37 year existence of the Billboard Hot 100. Right on R-Kelly! (looks like that's what he's saying in the pic-we reciprocate the sentiment).