DCS: olivia hooker

Over the 1921 Memorial Day weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a 19 year-old African-American shoeshiner named Dick Rowland was accused of assaulting a 17 year-old white woman named Sarah Page. Rowland was taken into police custody. A group of angry white members of the community stormed the courthouse. Rumor spread among the black community that Rowland …

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DCS: alberta hunter

Alberta Hunter began her career singing in brothels. She struggled until she was able to find an audience in whites-only men’s clubs in Chicago. She worked alternately singing in dark, smoky cabaret rooms and peeling potatoes in the kitchen of the same establishments. Her persistence paid off and Alberta soon found herself headlining at the …

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DCS: sterling magee

Sterling Magee was a session guitarist in the 1960s, playing on recordings by Ray Charles, James Brown, King Curtis and Marvin Gaye. He also released a few solo recordings on Ray Charles’ record label. But, Sterling walked away from it all, angered by the way black musicians were treated in the music industry. Sterling landed …

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DCS: falco

Johann Hölzel was determined to be a pop star. Exhibiting a natural musical talent, young Johann began playing in various bands in the Vienna Underground music scene. Bucking trends set by the crowds, Johann presented a clean-cut image, sporting short hair, dark glasses and stylish clothing. He played bass under the stage name “John DiFalco” …

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DCS: hank aaron

Veterans Stadium was the home of the Philadelphia Phillies from 1971 until yielding the title to beautiful Citizens Bank Park in 2004. Veterans Stadium was anything but beautiful, however, I did get to see some of baseball’s immortal players at that hell hole. One of those players was the legendary Hank Aaron. He was one …

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DCS: virginia cherrill

Virginia Cherrill really didn’t want to be an actress. She even turned down an invitation to join the elite Ziegfeld Follies — an offer that came for Florenz Ziegfeld himself. But, Virginia’s friend Sue Carol, an actress-turned-agent was very persuasive. Virginia was cast as an extra in Howard Hawkes 1928 film The Air Circus, the …

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DCS: ruth brown

Rebellious Ruth Weston ran away from home at 17, opting to sing in nightclubs rather than church. She married trumpeter Jimmie Brown along the way. Blanche Calloway, sister of noted band leader Cab Calloway, arranged for Ruth to sing at a Washington DC nightclub. Popular radio DJ Willis Conover saw her act and recommended her …

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DCS: heather angel

Heather Angel is one of those actors that I discovered late in their career. I knew Heather from her recurring role in the 1960s sitcom Family Affair. She played the very proper “Miss Faversham,” a nanny who cares for the children of one of Bill Davis’ (Brian Keith) neighbors in the high-rise Manhattan apartment building. …

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