Black Music Month originated in 1979. Jimmy Carter proclaimed the month of June as Black Music Month to celebrate the wonderful music, the achievements, births, important timelines, events and to remember those we lost.

June 11: This Day in Black Music History  was originally published on

1. Clarence ‘Pine Top’ Smith

Clarence ‘Pine Top’ Smith

1904:Clarence Smith was born this day. He was better known as Pinetop Smith or Pine Top Smith and was a boogie-woogie style blues pianist. He died in 1929 at age 24 from a gun shot wound he received during a dance-hall fight in Chicago. In 1991 he was inducted posthumously into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. (Photo: YouTube)

2. Hazel Scott

Hazel Scott

1920:Jazz musician Hazel Scott was born on this day. Recognized as a child musical prodigy, she was awarded scholarships to study classical piano at Julliard from the age of eight. She was the first woman of color to have her own TV show, The Hazel Scott Show. With the beginning of political intimidation during the years of Senator McCarthy’s influence, Scott was called to testify by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Her TV variety program was cancelled soon afterward and she moved to Paris. She is the mother of Adam Clayton Powell III. She died at age 61 from cancer. (Photo: Tumblr)

3. King Oliver and his Band

King Oliver and his Band

1928: King Oliver and his band recorded “Tin Roof Blues.” The tune has become a jazz standard and is one of the most often played early New Orleans jazz pieces. (Photo: YouTube)

4. James Pookie Hudson

James Pookie Hudson

James ‘Pookie’ Hudson

1934:James ‘Pookie’ Hudson was born (2nd from left). He was the lead singer and founding member of The Spaniels. He passed away in 2007. Some historians of vocal groups consider Pookie Hudson to be the first true leader of a vocal group, because the Spaniels pioneered the technique of having the main singer solo at his own microphone, while the rest of the group shared a second microphone. (Photo: AP)

5. Bernard Lee ‘Pretty’ Purdie

Bernard Lee ‘Pretty’ Purdie

1939:Bernard Lee “Pretty” Purdie was born and he turns 74 years old today. He is a session drummer, and is considered an influential and innovative exponent of funk. He is known for his strict musical time keeping and “The Purdie Shuffle”. (Photo: YouTube)

6. The Ink Spots

The Ink Spots

1940: The Ink Spots recorded “Maybe” on this day. (Photo: YouTube)

7. Glenn Leonard

Glenn Leonard

1947:R&B / Soul singer Glenn Carl Leonard was born and turns 66 today. He is best remembered for serving as the first tenor/secondary lead singer of The Temptations from 1975 to 1983.

8. Ella Fizgerald & Louis Jordan

Ella Fizgerald & Louis Jordan

1949:Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan charted with their duet ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ a song from the film Neptune’s Daughter. (Photo: YouTube)

9. The Spaniels

The Spaniels

1954:The Spaniels made their debut appearance at the Apollo Theater. It was also lead singer Pookie Hudson’s 20th birthday. (Photo: AP)

10. Fats Domino

Fats Domino

1955:The Number One R&B song was ‘Ain’t That a Shame’ by Fats Domino. (Photo: YouTube)

11. Jamaaladeen Tacuma

Jamaaladeen Tacuma

1956:Free jazz bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma was born and turns 57 years old today. (Photo: YouTube)

12. The Spinners

The Spinners

1977:The Spinners performed at San Diego’s Kool Jazz Festival.(Photo: YouTube)

13. Lil Zane

Lil Zane

1982:Happy Birthday to rapper & actor Lil Zane who turns turns 32 today.

14. Al Green

Al Green

1988:Al Green, Ashford & Simpson, Natalie Cole, Tracy Chapman, Joan Armatrading and Stevie Wonder all performed at Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday concert at Wembley Stadium in England. (Tumblr)

15. Ike & Tina Film Biography

Ike & Tina Film Biography

1993: The Ike and Tina Turner film biography “What’s Love Got To Do With It” opened on this day. (Photo: AP)

16. Seal


1994:Seal Charted with ‘Prayer for the Dying’ reaching number 21 on the Pop charts.

17. Barry White

Barry White

1996:Barry White performed at the Harborlights Pavillion near Boston. (Photo: Tumblr)

18. Jennifer Lara

Jennifer Lara

2005:Jennifer Lara passed away on this day. She was one of the reggae scene’s most prolific backing vocalists. She died of a stroke at age 52. (Photo: YouTube)

19. Rayquon Elliot aka Stack Bundles

Rayquon Elliot aka Stack Bundles

2007:Up and coming rapper Stack Bundles (Rayquon Elliot) was shot to death outside his apartment in Queens, New York. He was only 24 years old.