1. Ada Brown, Star of the music hall and theater circuits of the 1920’s, was an American blues singer. She is best known for her recordings of “Ill Natural Blues”, “Break O’ Day Blues”, and “Evil Mama Blues.
2. Big Maybelle (Mabel Louise Smith), R&B Shouters of the 1950’s, singer and pianist. Her 1956 hit single “Candy” received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999.
3. Marion (Little Walter) Jacobs, Blues Harmonica Player whose revolutionary approach to his instrument has earned him comparisons to Charlie Parker and Jimi Hendrix for innovation and impact on succeeding generations. His virtuosity and musical innovations fundamentally altered many listeners’ expectations of what was possible on blues harmonica.
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4. James Wise, R&B Artist, Archie Bell and the Drells.
5. Max Robinson, broadcast journalist, and ABC News World News Tonight co-anchor. He was the first African American broadcast network news anchor in the United States. He was a founder of the National Association of Black Journalists.
6. Orestes (“Minnie”) Minoso, a former star left fielder in Major League Baseball. He had earlier been a standout third baseman in the Negro Leagues, and would later play several seasons in Mexico. He was nicknamed “The Cuban Comet” as well as “Mr. White Sox”, and while playing in Mexico was “El Charro Negro” — “The Black Cowboy”. He is one of just two players in Major League history to play in five separate decades (1940s-80s), the other being Nick Altrock. With brief appearances with the independent Northern League’s St. Paul Saints in 1993 and 2003, Miñoso is the only player to have played professionally in 7 different decades. He was also the last Major Leaguer to have played in the 1940s to play a Major League game.
7. Ray Parker Jr., Guitarist/songwriter/producer Ray Parker, Jr. had hits as Raydio(the million-selling Jack and Jill, You Can’t Change That), Ray Parker Jr. and Raydio (Two Places at the Same Time, A Woman Needs Love [Just Like You Do]”), Ray Parker Jr. (the number one R&B and pop gold single “Ghostbusters”), and co-wrote hit songs for Rufus andChaka Khan (the number one “You Got the Love” from fall 1974) and Barry White (“You See the Trouble With Me” from spring 1976).
Born May 1, 1954, in Detroit, MI, Parker started out as a teenaged session guitarist playing on sessions recorded for Holland-Dozier-Holland’s Hot Wax and Invictus Records whose roster listed Freda Payne, Honey Cone, Chairman of the Board, 100 Proof Aged in Soul,Laura Lee, and 8th Wonder. He’d also play behind the Temptations,Stevie Wonder, the Spinners, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and other Motown acts when they appeared at the Twenty Grand Club. In 1972,Wonder called Parker to ask him to play behind him on a tour that he was doing with the Rolling Stones. Parker thought it was a crank call and hung up the phone. Wonder called back and convinced Parkerthat he was the real deal by singing “Superstition” to him.