What happened in black music this week? Get your pen and pad ready. History class is now in session.
Feb. 20, 1960: Jimi Hendrix, then a member of Seattle-based Rocking Kings, starts performing under the alias Maurice James. Hendrix plays his first documented show on this date at Washington Hall.
Feb. 20, 1999: Lenny Kravitz finds global success with the single “Fly Away,” which appeared on 1998′s 5. “Fly Away” tops the UK singles charts, reaches the Top 10 in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, and earns Kravitz a Grammy for Best Male Rock Performance.
Feb. 21, 1990: Chuck Berry’s legend is further cemented when his 1956 hit “Roll Over, Beethoven” is inducted into the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame at the 32nd Grammy Awards. Berry’s Chuck Berry: The Chess Box also snags Best Historical Album honors at the event.
Feb. 22, 1992: R&B trio TLC charts with debut outing, “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg.” The record samples five different acts: Average White Band, Bob James, James Brown, Kool & the Gang, and Silver Convention.
Feb. 23, 1983: Marvin Gaye finally gets his first Grammy in two decades when “Sexual Healing” takes home the award for Best R&B Male Performance.
Feb. 23, 1991: Whitney Houston scores a #1 hit in “All the Man That I Need.” Her strikingly beautiful rendition of the Sister Sledge gem is also nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 1992 Grammys, further proving that Houston’s formula of reworking old hits was paying off.
Feb. 24, 1973: Speaking of interpretation of old hits, Roberta Flack’s take on “Killing Me Softly with His Song” captivates the entire nation and begins a five-week reign atop the pop charts on this day. Flack heard the Lori Lieberman song on a flight from L.A. to New York.
Feb. 25, 1992: Boyz II Men make their mark by winning Best R&B Performance by a Duo/Group at the 34th Grammys for CooleyHighHarmony. At the same event, James Brown and Muddy Waters receive Lifetime Achievement honors.
Feb. 26, 1983: Easily the most significant music event this week, Michael Jackson’s Thriller hits #1 on the albums chart and sits there for an astonishing thirty-seven weeks. Thrillerwould go on to sell over 50 million copies.
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