James Ambrose Johnson/ Rick James (1948-2004)

Rick James was a singer-songwriter, producer, and instrumentalist, who was born on February 1, 1948 and raised in Buffalo, New York. His Father James Ambrose Johnson, Sr., was said to be abusive and ended up leaving when James was eight years old. His mother Mabel Gladden worked as … Read MoreJames Ambrose Johnson/ Rick James (1948-2004)

Little Willie John (1937-1968)

Little Willie John, born William Edward John on November 15th, 1937, was one of ten children born in Cullendale, Arkansas to Mertis John and mother Lillie John. His family migrated north to Detroit, Michigan in the 1940s so his father could find work. Little Willie John was a musically gifted child who performed … Read MoreLittle Willie John (1937-1968)

Solomon Burke (1940-2010)

Solomon Burke was a minister and renowned singer of rhythm & blues and soul music with a career stretching from the 1950s to his death in 2010. Although never reaching chart-topping fame, Burke is heralded as one of one of the best soul singers of all time. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March … Read MoreSolomon Burke (1940-2010)

Aretha Franklin (1942-2018)

In her five decades as a recording artist, Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen of Soul,” became a music legend. Aretha Louise Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee on March 25, 1942. Her family soon relocated to Detroit, Michigan, where her father, Reverend C.L. Franklin, became a minister at New Bethel Baptist Church. Rev. Franklin … Read MoreAretha Franklin (1942-2018)

Johnnie Harrison Taylor (1934-2000)

Johnnie Harrison Taylor was an R&B and gospel singer prominent in the 1960s and 1970s.  His career crossed genres and generations spanning around four decades and resulting in three Grammy nominations. He has released dozens of albums and was inducted in to the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1999. Taylor was born … Read MoreJohnnie Harrison Taylor (1934-2000)