Happy 20th Birthday New Orleans Radio
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|1899||Duke Ellington, One of the founders of Big Band Jazz. He was the most important composer in the history of jazz as well as being a bandleader who held his large group together continuously for almost 50 years. He died in 1974.
|1915||Donald Mills, Grammy award winning singer with the 'Mills Brothers' - "Tiger Rag". He died in 1999.
|1922||Jean 'Toots' Thielemans, He virtually introduced the chromatic harmonica as a jazz instrument. In fact, ever since the mid-'50s, he has had no close competitors.
|1925||Danny Davis, Popularizing the use of brass instruments in the string-dominated world of country music, his work with his Nashville Brass inspired Buck Owens to form the Bakersfield Brass and also influenced the music of Ray Pennington, Buddy Emmons, and Merle Haggard.
|1928||Big Jay McNeely, Tenor saxophonist who made it a solo instrument in the early days of R&B and Rock n Roll.
|1929||Ray Barretto, His congas have graced more recording sessions than virtually any other conguero of his time. He has also led some refreshingly progressive Latin jazz bands over the decades. He died in 2006.
|1934||Otis Rush, Left-handed blues guitarist born in Philadelphia, MS. Breaking into the R&B Top Ten his very first time out in 1956 with the startlingly intense slow blues "I Can't Quit You Baby," he subsequently established himself as one of the premier bluesmen on the Chicago circuit.
|1940||George Adams, A passionate tenor and flute player who was not shy to break up chordal improvising with an unexpected scream or roar. He died in 1992.
|1942||Samuel (Sammy) Rimington, A jazz reed player and a native of Paddock Wood, Kent. In 1965, he moved to the US and worked with Big Bill Bissonnette's Easy Rider Jazz Band. Most of his work has been in the New Orleans jazz vein, playing with Louis Nelson, Big Jim Robinson, Chris Barber, Kid Thomas Valentine, Captain John Handy, and others. He has recorded extensively as a bandleader since the early 1960s. His main influences were George Lewis on clarinet and Captain John Handy on alto sax.
|1947||Tommy James, Singer in the group 'Tommy James and the Shondells'.
|1970||Master P (Percy Miller), New Orleans Rapper and founder of No Limit Records. Moved from New Orleans to LA and built his musical empire.
|1950|| Annie Laurie with Paul Gayten and his Orchestra made it to the Billboard R&B charts on this day with the song 'I'll Never Be Free'.
|1968|| The musical "Hair" opened on Broadway on this day. It was the first time actors appeared nude onstage live.
|1969|| President Nixon throws a seventieth birthday bash for Duke Ellington at the White House. Among those attending were Ellington's mentor Willie "The Lion" Smith, Dave Brubeck, Earl "Fatha" Hines and Clarke Terry.