1. Alvin Ailey, choreographer and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York. Ailey is credited with popularizing modern dance and revolutionizing African-American participation in 20th century concert dance. His company gained the nickname “Cultural Ambassador to the World” because of its extensive international touring. Ailey’s choreographic masterpiece Revelations is believed to be the best-known and most often seen modern dance performance.
2. Johnny Adams, Rhythm and Blues, blues, jazz and gospel singer, known as “The Tan Canary” for the multi-octave range of his singing voice, his swooping vocal mannerisms and falsetto. His biggest hits were his versions of “Release Me” and “Reconsider Me” in the late 1960s.
3. Milt Thompson, former Major League Baseball left fielder and pinch hitter who is currently a coach in the Houston Astros Minor League system. Thompson played with several teams (including the Phillies and the Atlanta Braves), and hit a career average of .274.
4.Wilbert Harrison , singer, pianist, guitarist and harmonica player. Harrison had a Billboard #1 record in 1959 with the song “Kansas City”. The song was written in 1951 and was one of the first credited collaborations by the team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. Harrison recorded “Kansas City” for the Harlem based entrepreneur Bobby Robinson.
Harrison recorded for the Fire and Fury record labels, which were owned and operated by Robinson. After this success, Harrison continued to perform and record but it would be another ten years before he recorded “Let’s Work Together” that went to # 32 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was later a hit for Canned Heat. It was also recorded by country rock band The Kentucky Headhunters for the soundtrack to the movie, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man. In 1970, Harrison had some success with “My Heart Is Yours”, and he toured for many years with a band known as ‘Wilbert Harrison and The Roamers’, as well as a solo act.
In 2001, his recording of “Kansas City” was given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award. His recording has also been named as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.