Nothing will motivate a man to move forward faster than knowing what's behind Him.

Tiny Bradshaw

1. Tiny Bradshaw, jazz and rhythm and blues bandleader, singer, composer, pianist, and drummer from Youngstown, Ohio.  After graduating from Wilberforce University with a degree in psychology, Bradshaw turned to music for a living.  In Ohio, he sang with Horace Henderson’s campus oriented Collegians.  Then, in 1932, Bradshaw relocated to New York City, where he drummed for Marion Hardy, the Charleston Bearcats (later the Savoy Bearcats), and the Mills Blue Rhythm Band, and sang for Luis Russell.

Albert Ammons

2. Albert Ammons, pianist, was a player of boogie-woogie, a bluesy jazz style that swept the United States from the late 1930s into the mid 1940s.

John William Coltrane

3. John William Coltrane (also known as “Trane”) was a jazz saxophonist and composer. Working in the bebop and hard bop idioms early in his career, Coltrane helped pioneer the use of modes in jazz and later was at the forefront of free jazz. He was prolific, organizing at least fifty recording sessions as a leader during his recording career, and appeared as a sideman on many other albums, notably with trumpeter Miles Davis and pianist Thelonious Monk.

MIghty Joe Young

4. MIghty Joe Young, blues guitarist known for playing Chicago blues.  one of the busiest sidemen in Chicago from the late 1950s.  He was in Otis Rush’s band for several years in the 1960s, and played on Magic Sam’s albums, West Side Soul and Black Magic.  He recorded his own solo album, Blues with a Touch of Soul, for Delmark Records in 1971.   Young also worked alongside Willie Dixon, Billy Boy Arnold and Jimmy Rogers.   Young’s song, “Turning Point”, appeared in the Michael Mann feature film, Thief (1981).

Ray Charles

5. Ray Charles, Singer/Composer/Piano Player (Makin’ Whoopi), He was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into his early recordings with Atlantic Records

Fenton Robinson

6. Fenton Robinson,  blues singer and exponent of the Chicago blues guitar. His signature song, “Somebody Loan Me a Dime” (1967) was covered by Boz Scaggs in 1969, but attributed to Scaggs himself, resulting in legal battles. The nationwide distribution of Robinson’s own version of the song was aborted by a freak snow storm hitting Chicago. The song has since become a blues standard, according to 1997’s Encyclopedia of Blues being “part of the repertoire of one out of every two blues artists.

Ben E. King

7. Ben E. King (Benjamin Earl Nelson), R&B Artist, Lead singer for the Dirfters.  Went solo and released “Stand By Me”   in 1961 and re-released in 1986 as a theme song for a movie of the same name and once again reaching the top 10. 

George C. Wolfe

8. George C. Wolfe, Playwright and director of theater and film.  Jelly’s Last Jam, Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk

Chi McBride

9. Chi McBride, actor. He starred as Steven Harper on the series Boston Public, as Emerson Cod on Pushing Daisies, and recently appeared in Fox’s drama Human Target.

LisaRaye McCoy

10. LisaRaye McCoy, commonly known as LisaRaye, is an actress and fashion designer. She is also the former First Lady of the Turks and Caicos Islands. She is best known for portraying Diana “Diamond” Armstrong in the film The Players Club and Neesee James on the CW sitcom All of Us from 2003 until 2007.

Jermaine Dupri

10. Jermaine Dupri Maulidin, Grammy Award Winning Hip-Hop Recording Executive. 

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