News & Updates

Frankie Lymon / Sept 30, 1942 - Feb 27, 1968

Frankie Lymon / Sept 30, 1942 - Feb 27, 1968

Happy birthday to singer/songwriter/dancer Frankie Lymon, teenage superstar of the '50s. His tune "Why Do Fools Fall In Love", with his group The Teenagers, is still a perennial classic to this day. Born in Harlem, he sang gospel with his sister. He dropped out of school at 10 to work in a store. At 12 he joined a doo-wop group that ultimately became The Teenagers, an integrated vocal group. At the 1956 session for "Why Do Fools Fall In Love", the lead singer was late so Lymon's sweet soprano took the lead and the rest is history. He became an...

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Héctor Lavoe / Sept 30, 1946 - June 29, 1993

Héctor Lavoe / Sept 30, 1946 - June 29, 1993

One of the greatest figures in salsa music, Puerto Rican sonero Héctor Juan Pérez Martínez was born on this day in 1946. Born in Ponce PR, Héctor Lavoe was childhood friends with Papo Lucca. He moved to NYC at 16, joined Willie Colón's revolutionary band and they proceeded to slay their way to the top of the salsa world. With a smash band, he was thrown into a lifestyle of hard drugs and partying. Combined with several tragedies in his family and community, his habits started catching up to him. In '73 he started his solo career and he had...

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Marc Bolan / Sept 30, 1947 - Sept 16, 1977

Marc Bolan / Sept 30, 1947 - Sept 16, 1977

Glam rock superstar Marc Bolan was born on this day. Born in London as Mark Feld to an Ashkenazi Jewish family, he grew up listening to the rock & roll boom. He started playing guitar at 9 and had a skiffle band as a teenager. As a young mod he did some acting and found good work as a model, as well as dabbling in poetry. He may have worked with Joe Meek as early as '63 but this is disputed. He changed his name to Toby Tyler and recorded some cover songs in '64. He signed to Decca in...

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Roy Campbell Jr / Sept 29, 1952 - Jan 9, 2014

Roy Campbell Jr / Sept 29, 1952 - Jan 9, 2014

On his birthday today we miss our NYC jazz scene trumpeter/composer hero Roy Campbell Jr. I have witnessed his excellence on many, many occasions and his bright tone and world music-influenced free-jazz are greatly missed. He was most definitely one of the greats of progressive jazz trumpet, in lineage with Lee Morgan, Clifford Brown, Booker Little and Don Cherry. A native of the Big Apple, he started playing trumpet at 15 and studied with Morgan and Kenny Dorham. As a teen he played in big bands and as he turned 20 he aligned himself with the avant-garde with his group...

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Tilahun Gèssèssè / Sept 29, 1940 - April 19, 2009

Tilahun Gèssèssè / Sept 29, 1940 - April 19, 2009

Born on this date in 1940, Tilahun Gèssèssè, one of the great Ethiopian singers of that "Golden Age", a time in the '60s and early '70s when things were a little more lax in the country in regards to producing records. Born to an Oromo family, he dropped out of school and moved to Addis Ababa. He joined up with the Hager Fikir Theater and then became a star with the state-sponsored Imperial Bodyguard Band, perhaps the best opportunity for a singer's career at the time. In 1960 he spent some time in jail, due to interpretation of one of...

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