Today in Rhythm and Blues History

Rhythm and Blues: Rhythm and Blues Singers

Historical Events

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1952-02-02 B.B. King's “3 O’Clock Blues” hits #1 on the US Billboard's R&B hit parade to become his first national hit

Blues Musician B.B. King
Blues Musician
B.B. King
  • 1955-08-19 WINS radio, announces it will not play "copy" white cover versions of R&B (DJs must play Fats Domino's "Ain't It A Shame," not Pat Boone's)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2002-02-17 'Always On Time' by R&B artist Ja Rule featuring Ashanti starts a two-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart.

Rapper Ja Rule
Ja Rule

Famous Birthdays

  • 1921-12-28 Johnny Otis [Alexandres Veliotes], American R&B musician, producer and talent scout, born in Vallejo California
  • 1928-02-11 Raoul Cita, R&B pianist and songwriter (Harptones), born in New York City (d. 2014)
  • 1928-04-29 Big Jay McNeely, R&B saxophonist, born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1929-07-18 "Screamin' Jay" Hawkins, R&B musician (I Put a Spell on You), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 2000)
  • 1929-11-11 LaVern Baker, R&B vocalist (I Cried a Tear), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1934-01-26 Huey "Piano" Smith, Rhythm and Blues pianist (Rockin' Pneumonia & Boogie Woogie Flu), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1938-01-14 Allen Toussaint [Naomi Neville], American R&B musician & songwriter (Ride Your Pony), born in Gert Town, Louisiana (d. 2015)
  • 1939-12-17 James Booker, R&B musician (Gonzo), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1942-10-05 Richard Street, Rhythm and Blues musician (The Temptations), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1945-06-29 Johnnie Richardson, R&B musician (Johnnie & Joe)
  • 1945-11-16 Teenie Hodges [Mabon], American rhythm and blues guitarist (Take me to the River), born in Germantown, TN, (d. 2014)
  • 1949-02-23 Larry Demps, US R&B vocalist (Dramatics-Me & Mrs Jones)
  • 1951-04-13 Peabo Bryson, Greenville SC, R&B vocalist (I'm So into You)
  • 1969-09-24 Gene Hunt, R&B musician (Acid Man)
  • 1970-10-13 Mel Jackson, American actor and R&B musician
  • 1973-04-03 Kelly Price, Queens, NY, R&B vocalist (Friend of Mine)
  • 1984-11-12 Omarion, American R&B musician
  • 1988-05-07 Natalie Mejia, member of the American R&B/Pop group Girlicious

Famous Weddings

  • 2004-06-20 Former Dallas Cowboys running back Eddie George (30) weds R&B group "SWV" member Tamara Johnson (33) at the Rockleigh Country Club in Rockleigh, New Jersey

Famous Deaths

  • 1974-05-08 Graham Bond, British R&B musician, dies jumping under a train at 36

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1989-03-04 Tiny Grimes, American jazz and R&B guitarist (b. 1916)

Jazz Guitarist Tiny Grimes
Jazz Guitarist
Tiny Grimes
  • 1995-08-16 Robert "Robby" Debarge, R&B Musician, dies at 36
  • 2000-02-12 Screamin' Jay Hawkins, American R&B musician (I Put a Spell on You), dies at 70
  • 2012-01-17 Johnny Otis, R&B musician and talent scout, known as the godfather of rhythm and blues, dies at 90
  • 2014-06-22 Teenie Hodges, American rhythm and blues guitarist, dies from complications from emphysema at 68
  • 2014-12-13 Raoul Cita, R&B pianist and songwriter (Harptones), dies at 86
  • 2015-11-10 Allen Toussaint [Naomi Neville], American R&B musician & songwriter (Ride Your Pony), dies at 77