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Today’s Soul Birthdays – December 28
December 28, 2021
Johnny Otis – American singer, musician, composer, arranger, bandleader, talent scout, disc jockey, record producer, television show host, artist, author, journalist, minister, and impresario. He was a seminal influence on American R&B and rock and roll.
Lonnie Liston Smith – American jazz, soul, and funk musician who played with such jazz artists as Pharoah Sanders and Miles Davis before forming Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes, recording a number of albums widely regarded as classics in the fusion, smooth jazz and acid jazz genres.
Pops Staples – American gospel and R&B musician. A “pivotal figure in gospel in the 1960s and 1970s,” he was an accomplished songwriter, guitarist and singer. He was the patriarch and member of singing group The Staple Singers, which included his son Pervis and daughters Mavis, Yvonne, and Cleotha.
Donna Hightower – American R&B, soul and jazz singer and songwriter, who recorded and released albums for the Decca and Capitol labels. Later in her career she was based in Europe, where she had a hit in 1972 with “This World Today is a Mess.”