Month: November 2018

November 20 1910- Pauli Murray

GM – FBF – Today I want to share with you a story of a black woman, who was well educated and also one of the founders of (NOW) National Organization for Woman. Enjoy!

Remember – “We had been led to believe that American education is inferior. We have been impressed with American technology, however, and through your Constitutional law class—the first time we have ever been taught by an American—we have come to change our views. We used to accept without questioning whatever the lecturer said. Through your class we have learned to inquire.” – Pauli Murray

Today in our History – November 20,1910 Pauli Murray was born on November 20, 1910 in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of Agnes and William Murray.

Pauli Murray was born on November 20, 1910 in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of Agnes and William Murray. Her father, a Howard Universitygraduate, taught in the Baltimore public schools. Both of Murray’s parents died when she was a child. Her mother suffered from a brain hemorrhage and died in 1914. Her father was the victim of typhoid fever and died in 1923.

Despite such heartbreaking tragedy, Murray pursued her life goals. In 1933 she graduated from Hunter College in New York City, New York. Despite a stellar academic record, Murray in 1938 was denied admission into the University of North Carolina Law School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She later enrolled in the Howard University Law School in Washington, D.C. and graduated in 1944. Not long afterwards, Murray sought admission to Harvard University Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts for an advanced law degree but was denied admission because of her gender. She enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley where she received a master of law degree in 1945. Twenty years later, in 1965, she became the first African American awarded a J.S.D. (a law doctorate) from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Her degree was based on her dissertation, “Roots of the Racial Crisis: Prologue to Policy.”

Murray argued that her experiences encountering and overcoming racial and gender discrimination gave her special insight into the nature of racial and sexual hierarchies in U.S. and wrote about its various manifestations in America’s legal history. Murray coined the term “Jane Crow and Jim Crow” to describe the impact of dual discrimination. She also joined both the civil rights movement and the feminist movement. In 1966 Murray was one of the founders of the National Organization for Women (NOW) with feminist icon Betty Friedan.

Murray’s life took an abrupt turn when at the age of 62 she entered a seminary and became in 1977 the first black female priest ordained by the Episcopal Church. On July 1, 1985, cancer claimed the life of Pauli Murray in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her autobiography Song in a Weary Throat: an American Pilgrimage was published posthumously in 1987. Research more about black female lawyers and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

November 19 1983- Tina Turner

GM – FBF – Today’s look back into our History is about a black female singer who In the wake of divorce, debt and dismal record sales, Turner mounted a stellar comeback. WHEN SHE WAS 45, THE AGE when many pop singers’ careers have faded, Tina Turner’s 1984 album, Private Dancer, delivered her from commercial purgatory to become the singer’s biggest success.

Remember – “Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go – purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything… whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.” – Tina Turner

Today in our History – November 19, 1983: Tina Turner begins her fabled Eighties comeback when her version of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” produced by of Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh of Heaven 17, hits the British charts.
Born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tenn., she began recording with Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm, later marrying the bandleader and adopting the stage name Tina. The group earned six top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including its Grammy-winning cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary,” which reached No. 4 in 1971.

Behind the facade of the couple’s success, however, Ike was abusing Tina, and she walked out on him in 1976, famously carrying only a Mobil credit card and 36 cents. They divorced two years later.

Though freed from her marriage, Turner struggled professionally; playing cabaret-style shows to settle debts while two solo albums fizzled on the charts. Her fortune began to change when Olivia Newton-John invited Turner to appear on her 1979 TV special. The cameo led to Turner meeting Roger Davies, who became her manager and flew with the singer to England to work on Private Dancer, her debut on Capitol Records.

The album generated Turner’s first five solo top 40 hits on the Hot 100, including her first No. 1, “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” The smashes pushed Private Dancer to No. 3 on the Billboard 200 on Sept. 29, 1984, and to a 39-week run in the top 10. Following Private Dancer, Turner earned a further dozen hits on the Hot 100 through 1996.

Turner continued recording and touring through 2008. Now retired from performing and living in Switzerland with her husband, German music producer Erwin Bach, she is developing an autobiographical stage musical, with performances set to begin in London in March 2019. Research more on Black Female artists and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

I am facilitating a sales Managers Workshop for today and tomorrow and will not be able to respond to any posts.

November 18 1994- Cabell “Cab” Calloway III

GM – FBF – Today’s story spans a life time of being up front and on stage from the Big Band Era to doing a MTV Video with Janet Jackson in the 1990’s. This artist played with the best and would not change his Image for anyone. Some say he was arrogant and others a true to his race genius. Enjoy!

Remember –“A movie and a stage show are two entirely different things. A picture, you can do anything you want. Change it, cut out a scene, put in a scene, take a scene out. They don’t do that on stage.” Cab Calloway

Today in History – November 18, 1994 – Cabell “Cab” Calloway III died. He was voted the 39th out of 100 Greatest American Band Leaders (BLACK or WHITE) of “ALL – TIME”!
Cab Calloway, byname of Cabell Calloway III, (born December 25, 1907, Rochester, New York, U.S.—died November 18, 1994, Hockessin, Delaware), American bandleader, singer, and all-around entertainer known for his exuberant performing style and for leading one of the most highly regarded big bands of the swing era.

After graduating from high school, Calloway briefly attended a law school in Chicago but quickly turned to performing in nightclubs as a singer. He began directing his own bands in 1928 and in the following year went to New York City. There he appeared in an all-black musical, Fats Waller’s Connie’s Hot Chocolates, in which he sang the Waller classic “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”

In 1931 he was engaged as a bandleader at the Cotton Club; his orchestra, along with that of Duke Ellington’s, became one of the two house bands most associated with the legendary Harlem nightspot. In the same year, Calloway first recorded his most famous composition, “Minnie the Moocher,” a song that showcased his ability at scatsinging. Other Calloway hits from the 1930s include “Kickin’ the Gong Around,” “Reefer Man,” “The Lady with the Fan,” “Long About Midnight,” “The Man from Harlem,” and “Minnie the Moocher’s Wedding Day.”

Calloway was an energetic and humorous entertainer whose performance trademarks included eccentric dancing and wildly flinging his mop of hair; his standard accoutrementsincluded a white tuxedo and an oversized baton. He was a talented vocalist with an enormous range and was regarded as “the most unusually and broadly gifted male singer of the ’30s” by jazz scholar Gunther Schuller. Although his band rose to fame largely on the strength of his personal appeal, some critics felt that Calloway’s antics drew focus away from one of the best assemblages of musicians in jazz.

Calloway led a tight, professional unit during the early 1930s, but many regard his band of 1937–42 to be his best. Featured sidemen during those years included legendary jazz players such as pianist Bennie Payne, saxophonists Chu Berry and Ike Quebec, trombonist-vibraphonist Tyree Glenn, drummer Cozy Cole, and trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie, Doc Cheatham, Jonah Jones, and Shad Collins. The decline in popularity of big bands forced Calloway to disband his orchestra in 1948, and he continued for several years with a sextet.

Calloway also had a successful side career as an actor. He appeared in several motion pictures, including The Big Broadcast (1932), Stormy Weather (1943), Sensations of 1945 (1944), and The Cincinnati Kid (1965). George Gershwin had conceived the role of “Sportin’ Life” in his 1935 jazz opera Porgy and Bess for Calloway; the entertainer finally got his chance at the part during a heralded world tour of the show in 1952–54. In the 1960s, Calloway appeared on Broadway and on tour in Hello, Dolly!, portraying the role of Horace Vandergelder opposite Pearl Bailey as Dolly Levi, and he again starred on Broadway in the 1970s in the hit musical Bubbling Brown Sugar.

His best-known acting performance was also his last, as a jive-talking music promoter in director John Landis’s comedy The Blues Brothers (1980). The film featured Calloway singing “Minnie the Moocher” every bit as energetically and eccentrically as he had performed it in 1931. Research more about Black American Band leaders and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

November 17 1834- Nancy Green

GM – FBF – Today, I would like to share with you a story of a Black American Female who made a lot of appetences for the company that she worked for and received a lot of death threats and nasty letters for trying to feed herself and family She was a great lady who died a terrible death and I know that you didn’t know about this true American story. Learn and Enjoy!

Remember – “Many of my people didn’t like what I was doing but I had to eat also.” Nancy Green

Today in our History – November 17, 1834 Nancy Green was born and would become a household name as the first and original “Aunt Jemima”.

Nancy Green (November 17, 1834 – August 30, 1923) was a storyteller, cook, activist, and the first of several African-American models hired to promote a corporate trademark as “Aunt Jemima”.

Green was born into slavery on November 17, 1834, near Mount Sterling in Montgomery County, Kentucky. She was hired in 1890 by the R.T. Davis Milling Company in St. Joseph, Missouri, to represent “Aunt Jemima”, an advertising character named after a song from a minstrel show. Davis Milling had recently acquired the formula to a ready-mixed, self-rising pancake flour from St. Joseph Gazette editor Chris L. Ruttand Charles Underwood and were looking to employ an African-American woman as a Mammy archetype to promote their new product. In 1893 Green was introduced as Aunt Jemima at the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago, where it was her job to operate a pancake-cooking display.

Her amicable personality and talent as a cook for the Walker family, whose children grew up to become Chicago Circuit Judge Charles M. Walker and Dr. Samuel Walker helped establish a successful showing of the product, for which she received a medal and certificate from the Expo officials. After the Expo, Green was offered a lifetime contract to adopt the Aunt Jemima moniker and promote the pancake mix. This marked the beginning of a major promotional push by the company that included thousands of personal appearances and Aunt Jemima merchandising. Nancy Green maintained her job with Davis Milling (which was renamed Aunt Jemima Mills Company in 1914) until her death in 1923; she was still working as Aunt Jemima at the time. A lawsuit claims that Nancy Green’s heirs as well as other heirs from the other women used as Aunt Jemima models deserve $2 billion and a share of future revenue from the sales of popular demand.

The federal lawsuit was filed in Chicago by another model (Anna Short Harrington)’s grandsons who claim that she and Green were the roots in creating the recipe for the nation’s first self-proclaimed pancake mix. It also states that Green was the originator and came up with the idea of adding powdered milk for extra flavor in the pancakes. Quaker Oats, who is the current owner of the brand, says this image of Aunt Jemima was in fact fake and never real claiming that there are no trace of contracts between the women who displayed as Aunt Jemima models and their bosses. The suit was dismissed as the heirs failed to prove that they were related to the lady who posed as Aunt Jemima.

Green was one of the organizers of the Olivet Baptist Church. Her career allowed Green the financial freedom to become an activist and engage in antipoverty programs. She was one of the first African-American missionary workers. She used her stature as a spokesperson to become a leading advocate against poverty and in favor of equal rights for individuals in Chicago.

Green died on August 30, 1923, in Chicago when a car collided with a truck and flipped over onto the sidewalk where she was standing. She is buried in the northeast quadrant of Chicago’s Oak Woods Cemetery. The famous image of Aunt Jemima was based on the real image of Nancy Green, who was known as a magnificent cook, an attractive woman of outgoing nature and friendly personality, an original painting of which sold for $9,030 at MastroNet. The painting was rendered by A. B. Frost, who is now well known as one of the great illustrators of the Golden Age of American Illustration. Share your story about Aunt Jemima or research more about Nancy Green and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

November 16 1780- Paul Cuffe

GM – FBF – Today’s story is not talked about or shared with you in your history books and it should. As Americans last the two weeks we participated in our mid – term elections and I hope that you voted. Well, back when this country was at its Infancy a Black man went to his local legislators and asked for the right to vote or as you may have heard the term “Taxation without Representation”. Read the story and Enjoy!

Remember – “All free people are entitled to the vote, this is a true fact. If I have too I will die for this land but let me also cast a vote for my cause” – Paul Cuffe

Today in our History – November 16, 1780 – Paul Cuffe & other black taxpayers of Massachusetts protest to the state legislator for the right to vote.

Petition for Relief from Taxation
Submitted by and for Former Slaves of Dartmouth, Massachusetts
Paul Cuffe
Paul Cuffe was born a free child in 1759, on Chuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts, the son of a Native American mother and African father. His father, Kofi, was a member of the Ashanti tribe of West Africa, who was captured and brought to America as a slave at the age of ten. A skilled carpenter, Kofi (Cuffe) earned his freedom, and educated himself. Paul refused to use the name of his father’s owner, Slocum, and adopted his father’s given name, Cuffe (or Cuffee).

At the age of 16, following his father’s death, Paul Cuffe began his career as a common seaman on whaling and fishing boats. During the Revolutionary War he was held prisoner by the British for a time but managed afterward to start small-scale coastal trading. Despite attacks by pirates, he eventually prospered. He built larger vessels and successfully traded south as far as Virginia and north to Labrador. In later life he owned several ships which engaged in trading and whaling around the world.

Cuffe was a devout and evangelical Quaker. At his home in Westport, Massachusetts, he donated a town school and helped support the teacher. It was quite possibly the first integrated school in the young republic. Later he helped build a new meeting house. Through his connections with Quakers in other cities he became involved in efforts to improve the conditions of African Americans. Strongly opposed to slavery and the slave trade, he joined other free African Americans in the Northern states in their abolitionist campaigns.

In 1780 he and his brother John petitioned the Massachusetts government either to give African and Native Americans the right to vote or to stop taxing them. The petition was denied, but the case helped pave the way for the 1783 Massachusetts Constitution, which gave equal rights and privileges to all (male) citizens of the state. This is a transcript of the petition submitted to the Massachusetts legislature.

To the Honorable Council and House of Representatives, in General Court assembled, for the State of the Massachusetts Bay, in New England:

The petition of several poor negroes and mulattoes, who are inhabitants of the town of Dartmouth, humbly showeth,—
That we being chiefly of the African extract, and by reason of long bondage and hard slavery, we have been deprived of enjoying the profits of our labor or the advantage of inheriting estates from our parents, as our neighbors the white people do, having some of us not long enjoyed our own freedom; yet of late, contrary to the invariable custom and practice of the country, we have been, and now are, taxed both in our polls and that small pittance of estate which, through much hard labor and industry, we have got together to sustain ourselves and families withall. We apprehend it, therefore, to be hard usage, and will doubtless (if continued) reduce us to a state of beggary, whereby we shall become a burthen to others, if not timely prevented by the interposition of your justice and your power.

Your petitioners further show, that we apprehend ourselves to be aggrieved, in that, while we are not allowed the privilege of freemen of the State, having no vote or influence in the election of those that tax us, yet many of our colour (as is well known) have cheerfully entered the field of battle in the defence of the common cause, and that (as we conceive) against a similar exertion of power (in regard to taxation), too well known to need a recital in this place.

We most humbly request, therefore, that you would take our unhappy case into your serious consideration, and, in your wisdom and power, grant us relief from taxation, while under our present depressed circumstances; and your poor petitioners, as in duty bound, shall ever pray, Paul Cuffe. Research more about the early black sons of Liberty and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

November 15 2007- John Cross Junior

GM – FBF – Today’s Story is about John Cross Jr. who was the pastor at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL. where I had the pleasure of speaking a few years back. The 
same church that was bombed in 1963, where the killing of four girls accrued. The event was a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement. Enjoy!

Remember – “Only a devil with no heart would do such an act and kill babies. – Rev. John Cross Jr

Today in Our History – November 15, 2007 John Cross Jr died.
Born in Haynes, Arkansas, on January 27, 1925, John Cross Jr. became a minister, educator and civil rights activist. In 1963, he was serving as pastor at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, when a bomb killed four young girls at the church. The attack was a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement. At the age of 82, Cross died on November 15, 2007, in Lithonia, Georgia.

John Haywood Cross Jr. was born on January 27, 1925, in Haynes, Arkansas, where he was raised by parents John and Margie Ann. John Cross Jr. attended elementary school in his hometown, and later went to Lincoln High School in Forrest City, Arkansas.

Cross was a teenager when he gave his first sermon; his ordination took place at Springfield Missionary Baptist Church. In 1944, after completing high school, he served in the U.S. Army as an assistant chaplain. When his service ended, he taught in the Haynes public school system before enrolling at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia. Cross graduated from college in 1950 with a degree in social science.

Cross next served as a minister at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Widewater, Virginia. Wanting to pursue his theological studies, he returned to Virginia Union University and enrolled in a master’s program at the institution’s divinity school. He received his master’s degree in 1959. Staying in Richmond, he then became a pastor at the Gravel Hill Baptist Church.

In 1962, Cross was designated as pastor of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The city was the site of conflict between supporters of segregation and civil rights activists. In a 1991 article, Cross described the heightened racial tensions that he experienced upon arriving in Birmingham. When he attempted to hail a taxicab, the white driver told him, “[I] don’t drive coloreds.” Cross responded, “I’ll tell you what, I’m coming here to pastor a church. Before I leave here, you’ll be hauling anybody who wants to be hauled.”

Encouraged by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Cross welcomed leaders of the Civil Rights Movement at his church. The house of worship was a nerve center for meetings and rallies, which resulted in Southern segregationists targeting the church. On September 15, 1963, a Sunday, a bomb was planted in the building. It went off before a youth service.

Cross was one of the people who dug through the rubble after the explosion, looking for survivors. He discovered the bodies of the four young girls who had been killed: Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley. The attack also left more than 20 other worshippers injured. The atrocity became a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement, building support for the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

Cross helped lead his parishioners through the dark days following the tragedy. He also presided over the funeral service that was held for Collins, McNair and Wesley. Approximately 8,000 people came to the service.

In 1968, Cross left the 16th Street Baptist Church to teach history and sociology at Alabama State University. He also served as director of the university’s Baptist student center. In 1972, Cross became the associate pastor of the Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia. A few years later, he started working as the black church relations director for the Atlanta Baptist Association. After retiring in 1989, Cross worked part-time as a minister and youth counselor.

Cross met Julia Ball at Virginia Union University. After marrying in 1949, the couple had four children: Michael, Alma, Lynn and Barbara. Cross enjoyed visiting his hometown, stating that his favorite vacation destination was Haynes, Arkansas. Having suffered a series of strokes in his later years, Cross passed away on November 15, 2007, at age 82, in Lithonia, Georgia. Research more about Black Reverends who fight/fought for civil rights and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

November 14 1915- Mabel Fairbanks

GM – FBF – Today’s story is about the first Black/Native American woman to excel and be honored for her body of work. She is in the American and International halls of fame in her sport. She was orphaned and homeless but still had a vision of greatness. She was not allowed to try out for the Olympics but she still showed the world her talents. Enjoy!

Remember – “I’VE CRIED ENOUGH FOR ALL OF US” – Mabel Fairbanks

Today in our History – November 14, 1915 – Mabel Fairbanks was born.

Mabel Fairbanks (November 14, 1915 – September 29, 2001) was an American figure skater and coach. As an African American and Native American woman she paved the way for other minorities to compete in the sport of figure skating. She was inducted into the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame, as the first person of African American and Native American descent, and the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Mabel Fairbanks was born on November 14, 1915 in Florida’s Everglades. Her father was African American while her mother was Seminole and of English descent. In a 1999 interview, she said, “my mother took in everybody – every kid off the street – and gave them a place to stay and something to eat. So I never knew who were my real sisters and brothers, but my older sister told me there were 14.”

Fairbanks was orphaned at the age of eight when her mother died. After staying with a teacher who treated her like a “maid,” she joined one of her brothers in New York City. She worked for him and his wife at their fish market on 8th Avenue in Harlem but they became displeased when, out of sympathy, she gave a family more fish than they had paid for. A wealthy woman saw her sleeping on a park bench and offered her a job as a babysitter at a home overlooking Central Park.

Fairbanks began figure skating around 1925 to 1928. After observing children at the Central Park ice rink, she bought herself used skates, stuffed them with cotton because they were two sizes too big, and began skating at the rink. She said, “Blacks didn’t skate there. But it was a public place, so I just carried on.” She gained further inspiration after seeing Sonja Henie in the 1936 film One in a Million.

In the 1930s, Fairbanks, due to her race, was denied access to the local rink by the cashier but she kept returning util the manager admitted her. Maribel Vinson Owen and Howard Nicholson provided her with technical advice. Fairbanks was not allowed to compete in the national qualifying event for the Olympics or any competition. In a 1998 interview, she said, “If I had gone to the Olympics and become a star, I would not be who I am today.”

Fairbanks performed in shows in New York until the 1940s. She often wore pink or purple skate boots rather than the more common black or white. She practiced on a 6ft by 6ft rink constructed by her uncle Wally in her room. After relocating to Los Angeles, she toured internationally, skating with Ice Capades in Mexico and later with Ice Follies. After returning to the United States, she saw a sign with “Colored Trade Not Solicited” at the Pasadena Winter Gardens. She stated, “my uncle had newspaper articles written about it and passed them out everywhere until they finally let me in.”

Fairbanks coached singles and pairs, including Tiffany Chin, Billy Chapel, Scott Hamilton, Kristi Yamaguchi / Rudy Galindo, Tai Babilonia / Randy Gardner, Leslie Robinson, Michelle McCladdie, Richard Ewell, Debi Thomas, Atoy Wilson, and Jean Yuna. She also taught skating to the children of many celebrities. In 1997, she became the first African American inducted into the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame. She was inducted into the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame in October 2001.

Fairbanks never married. She was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis in 1997 and with acute leukemia in mid-2001. She died on September 29, 2001 at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California. She is interred in the ground at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, California. Her grave is right at the beginning of the bridge to the Clark Mausoleum. Research more about black female skaters and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

November 13 1971- “Inner City Blues”

GM – FBF – Today’s story is about a song by one of the greatest singers in America. He had hits galore and was the darling of the record company that he worked for. The album that the song came from was a platinum album that the record company put on the shelf because of the current tide in the country and was afraid that their buyers might not understand. The Album and particularly this song stood out for political activist and was sampled and remade by over 100 artists. Enjoy!

Remember – “This song was written to get the people to realize that we only have one earth and it is up to us to be as one with it” – Marvin Gaye

Today in our History – November 13, 1971 – “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)” was released.

“Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)”, often shortened to “Inner City Blues”, is a song by Marvin Gaye, released as the third and final single from and the climactic song of his 1971 landmark album, What’s Going On. Written by Gaye and James Nyx Jr., the song depicts the ghettos and bleak economic situations of inner-city America, and the emotional effects these have on inhabitants.

In 1998, co-writer James Nyx Jr. recalled, “Marvin had a good tune, sort of blues-like, but didn’t have any words for it. We started putting some stuff in there about how rough things were around town. We laughed about putting lyrics in about high taxes, ’cause both of us owed a lot. And we talked about how the government would send guys to the moon, but not help folks in the ghetto. But we still didn’t have a name, or really a good idea of the song. Then, I was home reading the paper one morning, and saw a headline that said something about the ‘inner city’ of Detroit. And I said, ‘Damn, that’s it. ‘Inner City Blues.’ “

The song was recorded in a mellow funk style with Gaye playing piano. Several of the Funk Brothers also contributed, including Eddie “Bongo” Brown, and bassist Bob Babbitt.
In its unedited version as it appears on the album, the final minute of the song (and of the LP) is a reprise to the theme of “What’s Going On”, the album’s first song, then segues into a dark ending. This final minute was cut off of the single version, as well as other sections of the song so the single edit runs under three minutes—this edit appears on subsequent reissues of the Motown released “Inner City Blues” as a single on their Tamla label on March 14, 1971.

The song helped Gaye make history by being one of the few artists to have three or more Top 10 songs off Billboard’s Pop Singles chart peaking at #9 and one of the first to have three consecutive #1 hits on Billboard’s R&B Singles chart where it stayed for two weeks.[2] Although not certified by the RIA at that time, all three releases from the What’s Going On album gained Gold status by selling over 1,000,000 copies in the United States.

A music video for the song was not released until 1994, when the Hughes brothers co-directed a video of the song for the reissue of What’s Going On. The video was shot in Harlem over the course of five days, featuring visuals of poverty and inner-city depression. The brothers also filmed firefighters putting out a fire, claiming to police to have been shooting a documentary.

The song was first covered by the Belgian jazz band Placebo on the Ball of Eyes LP in 1971. Then by Grover Washington, Jr. in 1972 from the album named “Inner City Blues.” Also in 1972, on her album A Time In My Life, Sarah Vaughan covered “Inner City Blues” with David Axelrod on the drums.

The same year the song was recorded by The Chi-Lites on the album A Lonely Man, and by The Impressions for their album Times Have Changed. It was covered by Phil Upchurch in his album, “Darkness, Darkness” Christian alternative band Adam Again did a soulful rendition of the song on 1990s Homeboys.

In 1993, guitarist Larry Coryell covered the song from his album “Fallen Angel.” In 1994, Angela Winbush covered the song and released it as a single and abbreviated the name simply to “Inner City Blues”. 1996 saw R&B group Ideal release a cover of the song on the Original Gangstas soundtrack. In 1998, the Mayfield Four released a cover of “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)” under its original title on their debut album Fallout. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band also did a cover of this song on their album, What’s Going On (2006) (Shout Factory). It was also covered by Joe Cocker on his album titled “Cocker”.

Etta James covered hers for her 1998 album Life, Love & the Blues.

It was also covered by the hard-rock band Sevendust in 2003, and can be found on the DVD included with some versions of their album Seasons, and then was included on their compilation album Best of (Chapter One 1997-2004) which was released in late 2005. In 2004, John Mayer performed the song live and later released on his compilation live album As/Is. The version includes a turntable solo by New York City jazz turntable player DJ Logic.

In 1997 the Grover Washington Jr. version was re-released on the compilation Funky Jazz Classics & Original Breaks from the Tough Side, the first of the Pulp Fusion series. In 2007 the Sarah Vaughan cover was also re-released on the compilation Bustin’ Loose, the tenth of the Pulp Fusion series.

The original version of the song also was used in the soundtrack of the 2007 film Zodiac, directed by David Fincher in a time lapse scene of the Transamerica Pyramid being built. It was also featured in the 2008 video game Grand Theft Auto IV on The Vibe, an in-game radio station. And it was also featured in the opening scene of 2014 film A Most Violent Year, directed by J.C. Chandor. Research more about Marvin Gaye and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

November 12 2007- Aletra Hampton

GM – FBF – Today’s story is about a family and their singing prowess, the heart and soul of the group was the most business minded and let her other sister’s gain most of the fame. Indianapolis, Indiana is where they planted their roots but they were sellers in Cincinnati, Ohio, Carnegie Hall and The Apollo Theater. Enjoy!

Remember – “Dad was a self-taught musician as well as a self-taught artist”, recalled Aletra. He was responsible for the whole thing. He taught everybody;from the age of three, they all played instruments. “He was the leader of the band for a while, but Dad got tired” – Aletra Hampton

Today In Our History – November 12, 2007 – Aletra Hampton died.

Aletra Hampton (October 8, 1915 – November 12, 2007) was an American jazz pianist and singer, best known for her performances during the 1940s and 1950s as a member of the Hampton family band and the Hampton Sisters, a quartet she formed during World War II with her siblings, Carmalita, Virtue and Dawn. The Middletown, Ohio, native began performing at a young age and moved with her family to Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1938.

Hampton and her eight siblings performed in the 1940s and 1950s in Duke Hampton’s band, their oldest 
brother’s jazz orchestra. The group became well known as the house band at nightclubs in Indianapolis and Cincinnati, Ohio, and toured the United States playing at venues that included New York City’s Carnegie Hall and Harlem’s Apollo Theater and the Savoy Ballroom. The family’s band dissolved in the 1950s, but Hampton and two of her sisters, Virtue and Carmalita, continued to perform as the Hampton Sisters for several more years. The trio reunited in Indianapolis in 1981 after almost a twenty-year hiatus. Hampton and her sister, Virtue, continued to perform as a duo, mostly in Indianapolis, until 2006.

Hampton and her siblings received Indiana’s Governor Arts Award (1991) for their contributions to the state’s musical heritage. In addition, Hampton was inducted into the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation’s Hall of Fame (1999); received an honorary doctorate of music degree from the University of Indianapolis(2004); and was a recipient of NUVO newspaper’s Cultural Vision Lifetime Achievement Award (2006).

The Indiana Historical Society released The Hampton Sisters, A Jazz Tribute (2003), a compact disc featuring Aletra and Virtue Hampton. Close members of Hampton’s musical family include her brother, “Slide” Hampton, a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master; her sister, Dawn (Died in 2016), a well-known New York City cabaret singer and swing dancer; and her nephew, Pharez Whitted, a jazz trumpeter. Research more about family entertainment groups and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

November 11 1918- World War I Ends

GM – FBF – Today’s story is one of the greatest watermarks in our History November 11, 1918. The day the guns fell silent on the Western Front in Europe and “The War to end all wars was over”. On 11 November 1918 at 1100, the armistice between the Allies and Central Powers went into effect or did it?

My great grandfather from Houston County, GA. served in the 92nd Division which was all black and while returning home from Europe in February, 1919 he stopped in a tavern in Valdosta, GA and was lynched with his uniform on. Not that uncommon for the time, during the summer and fall of 1919, anti-black race riots erupted in ninety-six cities across America. The lynching of blacks also increased from two hundred and eight in 1918 to seven hundred and seven in 1919. (Many say there were more)

At least two hundred and seventy of those victims were war veterans, and some were lynched while in uniform. Today’s story is about the most famous the 396th U.S. Infantry “Hell Fighters” Band and the band leader James Reese Europe. Enjoy!

Remember – “I have come from France more firmly convinced than ever that Negros should write Negro music. We have our own racial feeling and if we try to copy whites we will make bad copies…We won France by playing music which was ours and not a pale imitation of others, and if we are to develop in America we must develop along our own lines.” – James Reese Europe

Today in our History – November 11, 1918 – World War I Ends (Armistice Day)

James Reese Europe, one of the first African Americans to record music in the United States, was born on February 22, 1881 in Mobile, Alabama to Henry and Lorraine Europe. When he was ten, his family moved to Washington D.C. where he began to study violin with Enrico Hurlei, the assistant director of the Marine Corps Band. In 1904, Reese moved to New York to continue his musical studies.

In 1910, Europe founded one of the most well-known African American organizations during that time, The Clef Club, a part union and part fraternal organization which owned a building on West 53rd Street. Europe was the Clef Club’s first elected president as well as the conductor of its symphony orchestra. The Clef Club Orchestra appeared at Carnegie Hall for the first time on May 2, 1912 and later in 1913 and 1914.

The Carnegie Hall concerts gave the Clef Club Orchestra respectability in upper class circles and as a result, they were engaged to play at many of the most elite functions in New York, London (UK), Paris (France), and on yachts traveling worldwide. The Orchestra generated over $100,000 in bookings during the period. In 1913 Europe also made the first of a series of phonograph records for the Victor Talking Machine Company.

At the beginning of World War I, Reese joined New York Army National Guard as a private but shortly after passing the officer’s exam was commissioned as a Lieutenant. He was assigned to the all-black 369th U.S. Infantry Regiment. When his musical background became known he was asked by his commanding officer, Colonel William Hayward, to form a military band as part of his combat unit. Hayward told Europe to get musicians wherever he could, and Reese did just that.

Europe knew that it would be difficult to convince musicians in New York to enlist in the military to play music, so he went as far as traveling to Puerto Rico to recruit the needed musicians for his band. His band became known as the 396th U.S. Infantry “Hell Fighters” Band.

The Hell Fighters Band entertained troops and citizens in every city they visited and was received with great enthusiasm. He was sent from the front to lead his band at an Allied conference in Paris where they were only supposed to play one concert. The crowd’s reaction was so great that both American and French officials asked them to stay to perform for eight more weeks.

Europe and his band returned to New York on February 12, 1919. Soon after, they began a tour of American cities and started recording their songs in the studio. Through his music, Europe brought ragtime out of the bordellos and juke joints into mainstream society and elevated African American music into an accepted art form. He was a household name in New York’s music world and on the dance scene nationwide.

On the final performance of the band’s American tour, Herbert Wright, one of the “percussion twins,” became angered with Europe and attacked him with a knife during intermission. Europe did not survive the attack and Europe was buried with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. Research more about blacks during WWI and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!