By Darlene Donloe
June marks the 35th anniversary of Black Music Month. President Jimmy Carter officially designated the month of celebration on June 7, 1979. It was during a reception at The White House, which featured performances by Chuck Berry, Billy Eckstine, Little Richard and Andre Crouch.
In 2009, President Barack Obama defined June as African-American Music Appreciation Month.
“The legacy of African-American composers, singers, songwriters, and musicians is an indelible piece of our Nation's culture,” said President Obama. “Generations of African-Americans have carried forward the musical traditions of their forebears, blending old styles with innovative rhythms and sounds. They have enriched American music and captured the diversity of our nation. During African-American Music Appreciation Month, we honor this rich heritage. This legacy tells a story of ingenuity and faith. Amidst the injustice of slavery, African-Americans lifted their voices to the heavens through spirituals. This religious music united African-Americans and helped sustain them through one of the darkest periods in our nation's history. Years later, spirituals contributed to the advent of a new form of music: gospel. Both styles incorporated elements of African music and were rooted in faith.”
However it’s defined and whoever does the designation, Black Music Month is a celebration of the cultural and financial contributions of Black music to the entertainment industry and the world
In honor of Black Music Month, I asked celebrities the following question. Who are your top three R&B groups of all time? Here are the responses.
MARLON WAYANS – (Haunted House) New Edition, Boyz II Men and Guy.
DJIMON HOUNSOU – (How To Train Your Dragon, 2) En Vogue, The Jackson 5 and Earth, Wind & Fire
NATURI NAUGHTON – (Power) TLC, Boyz II Men, & Destiny's Child
MICHAEL COLYAR – (comedian) Earth, Wind and Fire
BRIAN CULBERTSON – (Another Long Night Out) Earth Wind & Fire, Parliament and Tower of Power.
WILL DOWNING – (singer - "Euphoria') Earth, Wind & Fire, Ohio Players, Slave
KASHIF - (singer, producer) Michael Jackson, Little Richard and James Brown.
AFFION CROCKETT – (Haunted House) – Earth, Wind & Fire, Whispers, Kool & The Gang
ROBERT HOOKS - (Lincoln Heights/Reed Between The Lines/ Passenger 57) ) "The Orioles," "The Dells" and "The Temptations"
DEMOND WILSON - (Sanford and Son) The Four Tops, The Temptations and Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers.
FREDA PAYNE – (singer 'Band of Gold') The O’Jay, Four Tops and The Temptations
OTIS WILLIAMS - (co-founder and member of The Temptations) The Cadillacs, The Flamingos and Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers.
BEVERLY TODD – (Royal Pains/The Bucket List/Days of Our Lives/Crash) The Supremes, Earth, Wind & Fire and Sly and The Family Stone
JUDY PACE – (Sucker Free City/Basketball Wife/Brian's Song) Four Tops, The Temptations and The Supremes
LENA LOREN (Power) – The Roots