On This Day

Rhythm and Blues in History

Rhythm and Blues: Rhythm and Blues Singers

Events in Music

#1 in the Charts

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

Radio History

1955-08-19 WINS radio (New York City), announces it will not play "copy" white cover versions of R&B records (DJ's play Fats Domino's "Ain't That A Shame," not Pat Boone's)

Music Single

1973-06-15 “Let’s Get It On” single released by Marvin Gaye (Billboard R&B Song of the Year, 1973; No. 4 overall)

  • 1992-06-30 "End of the Road" single released by Boyz II Men (Grammy Award Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Best R&B Song 1993, Billboard Song of the Year 1992)

Album Release

1994-11-29 "My Life" second studio album by Mary J. Blige is released (Billboard Music Award Top R&B Album 1995)

  • 1996-02-13 "The Score" second studio album by Fugees is released (Billboard no. 1 year end Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums 1996)
  • 1996-05-21 "You're Makin' Me High" single released by Toni Braxton (Grammy Award - Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, 1997)
  • 1998-06-21 "Don't Be Cruel" second studio album by Bobby Brown is released (Grammy Award Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, 1990)
  • 1998-11-03 "400 Degreez" 3rd studio album by Juvenile is released (Billboard no. 1 year end Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums 1999)
  • 1999-03-03 "Fortunate" single by soul singer Maxwell released (Billboard Music Award Best R&B Single of the Year, 1999)

Album Release

2000-11-07 "TP-2.com" 4th studio album by R. Kelly is released (American Music Awards Favorite Male Soul/R&B Artist, 2001; Billboard Album of the Year, 2001)

#1 in the Charts

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.

Music Single

2004-02-17 "If I Ain't Got You" single released by Alicia Keys (Grammy Award Best Female R&B Vocal Performance 2005, Billboard Song of the Year 2004)

Album Release

2004-03-23 Usher releases his 4th studio album “Confessions” (2004 Billboard Album of the Year, Grammy Award Best Contemporary R&B Album 2005)

Music Single

2005-03-29 "We Belong Together" single is released by Mariah Carey (Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance 2006, Billboard Song of the Year 2005)

  • 2005-09-15 "Be Without You" single released by Mary J. Blige (Billboard Song of the Year 2006, Grammy Award Best R&B Song, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance 2005)

Music Single

2006-10-23 "Irreplaceable" single released by Beyonce (Soul Train Music Awards Best R&B/Soul Single 2007, Billboard Song of the Year 2007)

  • 2007-11-09 Alicia Keys releases her 3rd studio album “As I Am” (Grammy Award Best Female R&B Vocal Performance 2008, 2008 Billboard Album of the Year)
  • 2011-09-12 "Love On Top" single released by Beyoncé (Grammy Award Best Traditional R&B Performance 2013, Billboard Song of the Year 2012)

Birthdays in Music

  • 1910-08-08 (Lucius) "Lucky" Millinder, American swing and rhythm-and-blues bandleader (Rosetta Tharpe; Who Threw The Whiskey in the Well), born in Anniston, Alabama (d. 1966)
  • 1916-07-07 Lloyd "Tiny" Grimes, American jazz and R&B guitarist (Art Tatum), born in Newport News, Virginia (d. 1989)
  • 1917-01-10 Jerry Wexler, American music producer who coined the term "rhythm and blues" (Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan), born in The Bronx, New York (d. 2008)
  • 1921-12-28 Johnny Otis [Ioannis Veliotes], American R&B musician, songwriter, producer and talent scout ("Willie and the Hand Jive"; "Cupid's Boogie"), known as "the godfather of rhythm and blues", born in Vallejo California (d. 2012)
  • 1927-04-29 (Cecil James) "Big Jay" McNeely, American R&B saxophonist, born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2018)
  • 1928-02-11 Raoul Cita, R&B pianist and songwriter (Harptones), born in NYC, New York (d. 2014)
  • 1929-07-18 "Screamin' Jay" Hawkins, American blues singer, guitarist, and songwriter ("I Put a Spell On You"), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 2000)
  • 1929-11-11 (Dolores) LaVern Baker [Evans], American blues vocalist ("I Cried a Tear"), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1997)
  • 1934-01-26 Huey "Piano" Smith, American R&B pianist ("Rockin' Pneumonia & Boogie Woogie Flu"; "Having a Good Time"), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1935-06-29 Johnnie Richardson, American R&B musician (Johnnie & Joe), born in Montgomery, Alabama (d. 1988)
  • 1935-10-12 Sam Moore, American R&B and soul vocalist (Sam & Dave - "Soul Man"), born in Miami, Florida
  • 1935-10-13 Paul Humphrey, American jazz, R&B, and rock session and touring drummer, born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2014)
  • 1936-11-01 [Zephire] Andre Williams, American R&B musician ("Shake a Tail Feather"; "Jailbait"), born in Bessemer, Alabama (d. 2019)
  • 1938-01-14 Allen Toussaint, American pianist, songwriter and producer ("Mother-In-Law"; "Working In A Coal Mine"; "Southern Nights"), born in Gert Town, Louisiana (d. 2015)
  • 1939-12-17 James Booker, American R&B musician (Gonzo), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1942-10-05 Richard Street, American R&B musician (The Temptations, 1971-93 - "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone"), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2013)
  • 1944-06-02 Antone Tavares, American R&B musician (Tavares - "Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel"), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1945-11-16 Mabon "Teenie" Hodges, American rhythm and blues guitarist, and songwriter ("Take Me To The River"; "Love And Happiness"), born in Germantown, Tennessee (d. 2014)
  • 1946-09-07 Alfa Anderson, American R&B vocalist (Chic - "Le Freak"), born in The Bronx, New York
  • 1949-02-23 Larry Demps, American soul singer (Dramatics - "In the Rain"; "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get"), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1951-04-13 Peabo Bryson, American R&B, soul, and pop vocalist ("Show and Tell"; "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love"; "A Whole New World"), born in Greenville, South Carolina
  • 1955-10-01 Howard Hewett, American R&B vocalist (Shalamar), born in Akron, Ohio
  • 1958-10-13 Joseph Richard Sylvers, American R&B musician (The Sylvers)
  • 1969-09-24 Gene Hunt, American R&B musician ("Acid Man"), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1970-10-13 Mel Jackson, African-American actor (Soul Food) and R&B musician, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1973-04-03 Kelly Price, American R&B and gospel vocalist ("Friend of Mine"), born in Queens, New York
  • 1984-11-12 Omarion [Omari Grandberry], American R&B musician, born in Inglewood, California
  • 1988-05-07 Natalie Mejia, member of the American R&B/Pop group Girlicious, born in West Covina, California

Weddings in Music

  • 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

Deaths in Music

  • 1966-09-28 (Lucius) "Lucky" Millinder, American swing and rhythm-and-blues bandleader (Rosetta Tharpe; Who Threw The Whiskey in the Well), dies of a liver ailment at 56
  • 1974-05-08 Graham Bond, British R&B musician, dies jumping under a train at 36
  • 1988-10-25 Johnnie Richardson, American R&B musician (Johnnie & Joe), dies at 53
  • 1989-03-04 Lloyd "Tiny" Grimes, American jazz and R&B guitarist (Art Tatum), dies of meningitis at 72
  • 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
  • 2008-08-15 Jerry Wexler, American music producer who coined the term "rhythm and blues" (Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan), dies from congestive heart failure at 91
  • 2012-01-17 Johnny Otis [Ioannis Veliotes], American R&B musician, songwriter, producer and talent scout ("Willie and the Hand Jive"; "Cupid's Boogie"), known as "the godfather of rhythm and blues", dies at 90
  • 2013-02-27 Richard Street, American R&B musician (The Temptations), dies at 70
  • 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, American pianist, songwriter and producer ("Mother-In-Law"; "Working In A Coal Mine"; "Southern Nights"), dies of a heart attack at 77
  • 2018-09-16 Big Jay [Cecil James] McNeely, American R&B saxophonist, dies of prostate cancer at 91
  • 2019-03-17 [Zephire] Andre Williams, American R&B musician ("Jailbait"; "Shake a Tail Feather"), dies at 82