Contralto Carol Brice grew up in Sedalia, N.C. & attended Palmer Memorial Institute before building a major music career. Notably, she was one of the 1st African Americans hired by the Metropolitan Opera Company. She also sang at the inauguration of FDR in 1941.
Fun fact: though the song “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” has been covered by the likes of Luther Vandross, The Fugees, and Nancy Sinatra, only NC native Roberta Flack’s rendition is recognized by the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Happy Birthday James Taylor! On March 12, 1948 the singer-songwriter was born in Boston, Mass. His family relocated to Chapel Hill, N.C. in 1951. His childhood experiences in the Piedmont figure greatly into some his biggest hits like "Copperline" and "Carolina in my Mind."
Did you know that one of the first women credited with recording country music was from North Carolina?
Born the daughter of a well-known fiddle player, Samantha Biddix Bumgarner, taught herself how to play the fiddle and the banjo while growing up in Dillsboro in Jackson County. She and Eva Smathers Davis made history when they recorded a number of songs for Columbia Records in 1924 that would lead to them being the first women to be credited to record country music.
American jazz saxophonist John Coltrane, born in Hamlet, NC, helped pioneer the use of modal jazz and recorded with musicians like Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, and remains one of the most influential saxophonists in music history. #TriviaTuesday #ComeHearNC
Little Eva’s first single, “The Loco-Motion,” launched her into the pop spotlight when it hit number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 in August 1962. In 1971 Eva Boyd retired from the music industry. She is buried in her hometown of Belhaven, N.C
Lesley Riddle was an African-American musician and song collector who helped shape country music. Born in Burnsville in 1905, Riddle traveled the southeast with the famous Carter Family in the 1920s and 1930s, memorizing melodies and collecting songs that would become country music standards.
Add this to your trivia toolkit:
Before his TV days, Andy Griffith played the trombone in high school and graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in music.
Including hip-hop artist B.o.B, singer-songwriter Ben Folds, and country singer George Hamilton IV!
Durham’s Shirley Caesar, often called “The First Lady of Gospel,” was a life-long friend of Aretha Franklin. The Grammy Award-winning performer first met Franklin as a teenager when they were on tour with Franklin’s father. Caesar performed at Aretha Franklin’s funeral last year.