Black Music History Facts: Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis

Hello!

I know it’s been a few days since my last post. I was a bit under the weather, please forgive me. 😔

But I’m back! For today’s post of black music history fun facts, we have the amazing songwriting and music production team, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis! When I think of 80s and 90s R&B, they’re who I think of. They helped to make some of your favorite R&B hits, and if you don’t know about them…it’s time!

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  • James Samual “Jimmy Jam” Harris III and Terry Steven Lewis have been making hit after hit since 1982.
  • Jimmy Jam is the son of famous Minneapolis jazz and blues musician, Cornbread Harris.
  • Harris and Lewis met in high school in Minneapolis and formed a band called, Flyte Tyme, which became The Time.
  • Morris Day joined them in ’81 and they toured with Prince.
  • They produced their first record for the SOS Band.
  • They were known for being one of the few who used the Roland TR-808 drum machine
  • They produced Janet Jackson’s breakthrough album, Control in ’86. (Won a Grammy)
  • In ’89, they hit it again with Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 (4 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hits)
  • In 1990 Jam And Lewis recorded “Pandemonium” with The Time, which was released on Prince’s Paisley Park Records.
  • In 2005, they opened up their recording studios in Sana Monica, Flyte Tyme West.
  • They have 31 top ten hits on the charts in the US and the UK
  • Acts they’re associated with: The Time, Prince, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, The SOS Band, Boyz II Men, Usher, Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, Chaka Khan, New Edition, Patti LaBelle, and more!

    Here’s a short interview:

    And a playlist of some of their hits: 

Black Music History Facts: Lena Horne

Happy Black History Month!

I love history, I love music, and I love my fellow black folks 🙂

Every day this month, I’ll be posting black music history fun facts. Today’s feature is the amazing, elegant, and strong, Lena Horne.

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  • Born June 30th, 1917.
  • She was in the Chorus line of the Cotton Club when she was 16.
  • Moved to Hollywood and started playing small roles in films, then moved on to bigger roles in 1943 (Cabin in the Sky and Stormy Weather)
  • First African-American signed to a long-term studio contract
  • She was one of the first to work on both sides of the “color line”. She sang with both white and black swing and jazz groups.
  • She was blacklisted as a Communist because of her participation in the Civil Rights Movement and her friendship with Paul Robeson and W.E.B. DuBois, who were activists.
  • Received Honorary Doctorate from Howard University in 1980
  • Her career spanned over 70 years
  • More of a random fact….she guest starred on The Cosby Show and A Different World back in the 80s and 90s (two of my favorite shows haha)

– Bri