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MusicMakers compose, perform, and promote music ranging from country to classical to doo wop and include lyricists, music executives, pianists, and orchestra conductors, among others.

Verdine White

Musician, songwriter, composer, and producer Verdine White was born on July 25, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois to Dr. Verdine White, Sr. and Edna White. He attended and graduated from Crane High School in 1969.

White began his career performing as a bassist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and later played electric bass at local jazz clubs. In 1970, he joined the band Earth, Wind & Fire, which was founded by his brother, Maurice White, in 1969. In 1971, the band released their self-titled debut album, the soundtrack for the film Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, and the album The Need of Love. Their album, Open Our Eyes rose to the number one spot on the Billboard Top Soul Albums in 1974. A member of the band for more than four decades, White was bass guitarist, percussionist, songwriter, composer, vocalist and producer, contributing to all twenty-one albums released by the group. Earth, Wind & Fire toured internationally, with White helping to produce many of their performances. He also collaborated with musicians such as Ramsey Lewis, The Emotions, Jennifer Lopez, and Solange. In 2012, White co-authored the book, Playing the Bass Guitar Edition: A Beginner's Guide to the Electric Bass; and, in 1994, he was featured in the video, Rhythm of the Earth-Advanced Bass Techniques. He also co-founded the Verdine White Performing Arts Center, a non-profit organization providing music lessons, scholarships, and grants to underserved youth.

Earth, Wind & Fire was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003. They also received eight Grammy's, four American Music Awards, The NAACP Image Award, and NAACP and BET Lifetime Achievement Awards. The band received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1995 and has recorded more than fifty gold and platinum albums.

White won six Grammy Awards and received seventeen Grammy Award nominations. He also ranked number twenty-seven on Bass Player's list of The 100 Greatest Bass Players of All Time. White was inducted into the Boys and Girls Club's Alumni Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010.

White and his wife, Shelly Clark, reside in Los Angeles.

Verdine White was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 13, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.108

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/13/2019

Last Name

White

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Richard T. Crane Medical Preparatory High School

First Name

Verdine

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

WHI28

Favorite Season

None

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

You Know What I Mean

Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

7/25/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Musician Verdine White (1951- ) was a founding member of the band Earth, Wind & Fire as bass guitarist, percussionist, songwriter, composer, vocalist and producer, contributing to all twenty-one albums released by Earth, Wind & Fire.

Employment

Earth, Wind & Fire

Favorite Color

None

Charles Connor

Musician Charles Connor was born on January 14, 1935 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Viola and William Connor. He began playing drums at age five. His first professional work as a drummer came in 1950 when he was hired by Roy Byrd (“Professor Longhair”) to play with him at a New Orleans Mardi Gras program.

He went on to perform with Smiley Lewis, Guitar Slim, Jack Dupree, and Shirley and Lee. At age eighteen, Connor became the drummer of Little Richard's road band, The Upsetters. Connor was a drummer for Little Richard throughout the 1950s, on records such as "The Girl Can't Help It", "Keep A-Knockin'", "Ooh! My Soul", and popular feature films as Don't Knock the Rock and Mr. Rock 'n' Roll. He was credited for creating the unique "Choo Choo Train" style of successive eighth notes with a loud back beat used by nearly all subsequent Rock 'n' Roll drummers. When Connor was not working with Little Richard, he worked with James Brown and The Famous Flames. In 1957, he toured with performer Sam Cooke. He also performed with other artists like Jackie Wilson, the original Coasters, and “Big” Joe Turner. He recorded with “Champion” Jack Dupree, Larry Williams, Don Covay, “Papa” George Lightfoot, Christine Kittrell, Larry Birdsong, and Dee Clark.

In 1994, Connor received a Certificate of Special Recognition from Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA). In 2010, Connor was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. Connor released his second album in 2013, “Still Knockin'”, which debuted an original song written and sung by him, "Beginning of Rock n' Roll," including new recordings featuring the voice of Kate Flannery. Connor was featured in the 2015 documentary miniseries for BBC Music TV’s Rock N Roll America “Episode 1: Sweet Little Sixteen," exploring the genesis, explosion and legacy of rock 'n' roll in America. He published his autobiography, Keep A Knockin the Story of a Legendary Drummer," in August 2015 with Waldorf Publishing. Connor is also featured in BBC Four's 2017 documentary Sharon Osbourne Presents Rock 'n' Roll's Dodgiest Deals. Connor’s drumsticks are on display at the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.

Charles Connor was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 13, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.107

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/13/2019

Last Name

Connor

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

CON09

Favorite Season

June

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii, Philippines, and New Orleans

Favorite Quote

Don't Give Up Your Dream, You Can Be A Winner Too

Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

1/14/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Musician Charles Connor (1935- ) was the original drummer for Little Richard's road band, The Upsetters. He performed with Sam Cooke, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, The Coasters, Big Joe Turner, Larry Williams, Don Covay, George Lightfoot, and Dee Clark.

Employment

The Upsetter

The Famous Flames

Favorite Color

Blue

Tage Larsen

Musician Tage Larsen was born on November 7, 1970 in Hartford, Connecticut and adopted by Rikk and Pamela Larsen. He graduated from The Peabody School in 1984 and from Cambridge Rindge School in 1988. Larsen went on to receive his B.M. degree in music performance from Michigan State University School of Music in 1992, and his M.M. degree in performance from the University of Rochester, The Eastman School of Music in 1994. While at The Eastman School, Larsen toured the country with the Dallas Brass quintet for nearly a year, making appearances, performing, and providing youth clinics to support young musicians.

Following completion of his masters program, from 1995 to 1999, Larsen served as solo cornet with the “President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band, in Washington, D.C. He then went on to join the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, in Annapolis, Maryland, where he served as the principal trumpet from 1999 to 2000. Then, he joined the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, where he served as second trumpet from 2000 to 2002. In July 2002, Larsen was the first African American hired in the history of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra where he has served as fourth/utility trumpet of the orchestra’s brass section. In 2008, Larsen was featured in the Dream Out Loud music education advocacy campaign, a collaboration between the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association and Yahama Corporation of America. He also served in the role of Yamaha Trumpet Artist, educator, and roster member. Larsen has performed with the CSO Trumpets, as the featured faculty soloist for the DePaul Festival Winds, and as a guest trumpet soloist with the Evanston Symphony Orchestra in Evanston, Illinois, under the direction of Lawrence Eckerling.

In 2004, Larsen received the first Michigan State University College of Music Distinguished Alumni Award. He joined the faculty at DePaul University School of Music, in Chicago, Illinois in 2007, as an instructor in applied and performance trumpet.

Larsen conducts master classes, has performed at conferences hosted by the International Trumpet Guild (ITG), and also served on the faculty at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts.

Tage Larsen was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 12, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.053

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/12/2019

Last Name

Larsen

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Occupation
Schools

Andrew Peabody School

Cambridge Rindge and Latin School

Michigan State University

Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester

First Name

Tage

Birth City, State, Country

Hartford

HM ID

LAR03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Connecticut

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

You Break It, You Buy It

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

11/7/1970

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Favorite Food

Thai

Short Description

Musician Tage Larsen (1970- ) was second trumpet for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra before being hired as the first African American in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2002.

Employment

U.S. Marine Band

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Annapolis Symphony Orchestra

Favorite Color

Blue

Benny Turner

Musician Benny Turner was born on October 27, 1939 in Gilmer, Texas to Ella Mae King and Ben Turner. He attended Lake Providence School, Bruce Junior High School, and Richard T. Crane Medical Preparatory High School.

Turner joined The Kindly Shepherds gospel music group and also played in his brother’s band, The Freddie King Band. During this period, he met Dee Clark and was invited to tour with his rhythm and blues band. Turner then became the bass player for the American gospel music group, The Soul Stirrers. He later rejoined The Freddie King Band and toured regularly with the group, performing with musicians like Eric Clapton, John Fogerty and Grand Funk Railroad. At The Montreux Jazz Festival in 1973, Turner played bass on the live recording of Memphis Slim’s Very Much Alive and in Montreux. After his brother’s death in 1976, Turner joined the band, Mighty Joe Young; and, in 1981, Turner appeared in the film Thief, while performing at the Wise Fools Pub in Chicago. In 1986, Turner moved to New Orleans, Louisiana and became the bandleader for Marva Wright. He also sang vocals and played bass on several of Otis Clay’s albums including, The Blues Is… in 1991, The Gospel Truth in 1993, and When the Gate Swings Open in 1994. Marva Wright later released, Born with the Blues in 1996, featuring Turner on bass. The following year, Mighty Joe Young released Mighty Man, featuring Turner on guitar. In 1999, Turner played bass on Marva Wight’s album, Bluesiana Mama, followed by Do Right Woman: The Soul of New Orleans in 2006, and After the Levees Broke in 2007, where Turner served as the producer, arranger, guitar player and background vocals on the album. Throughout his career, Turner was also featured on a number of his brother’s albums including, Gives You A Bonanza of Instrumentals, Larger Than Life, Freddie King (1934-1976), Takin’ Care of Business, Live in Antibes, 1974, Let the Good Times Roll.

In 2011, Turner released his solo album, A Tribute to My Brother Freddie King. In 2014, Turner released an original solo album entitled, Journey. Two years later, he released, When She’s Gone dedicated to his mother. In 2017, Turner published his autobiography, Survivor: The Benny Turner Story. That same year, he released the album, My Brother’s Blues. In 2019, he released, Going Back Home.

Turner has also received a number of awards, including the 2017 Best Blues Song Award at the fifteenth annual Independent Music Awards and the Little Milton Lifetime Bluesman award from Jus’ Blues Awards. Turner was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2017 and October 27th was proclaimed Benny Turner Day in Turner’s hometown of Gilmer, Texas. In 2018, he was voted Most Outstanding Musician (Bass) by Living Blues magazine, and received the Silver Medal at the Global Music Awards and the Bronze Medal by the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards.

Benny Turner was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 27, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.035

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/27/2019

Last Name

Turner

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Richard T. Crane Medical Preparatory High School

Lake Providence School

Bruce Junior High School

First Name

Benny

Birth City, State, Country

Gilmer

HM ID

TUR08

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Chicago

Favorite Quote

Right On Top

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

10/27/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Favorite Food

Cornbread

Short Description

Musician Benny Turner (1939- ) played bass with The Soul Stirrers, The Freddie King Band, and Mighty Joe Young. He performed with Eric Clapton, John Fogerty and Grand Funk Railroad and was featured on albums of Otis Clay’s and Marva Wright’s.

Employment

Marva Wright

Mighty Joe Young

Kindly Shepards

Freddie King

Soul Stirrers

Favorite Color

Red

Carol Maillard

Musician Carol Maillard was born on March 4, 1951 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Elizabeth and Thomas Maillard. After graduating from John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School in 1969, she received her B.A. degree in theatre from Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. in 1973.

In 1973, Maillard was hired at the newly formed D.C. Black Repertory Theatre Company as an assistant to vocal director Bernice Johnson Reagon. During a singing ensemble rehearsal featuring Reagon, Maillard, Louise Robinson, and Mie Fredericks, the group Sweet Honey in the Rock was created. On November 17, 1973, Sweet Honey in the Rock performed for the first time at Howard University’s W.C. Handy Blues Festival. In 1982, Maillard starred in her first television appearance in For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf. In 1988, Sweet Honey in the Rock received their first of three Grammy nominations, and the following year, they won their first for their contribution to A Vision Shared: A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. Maillard was featured in the television show Hallelujah in 1993. In 2000, she worked with James Horner to produce the soundtrack for TNT’s film, Freedom Song. Maillard also served as creative director for the documentary Sweet Honey in the Rock: Raise Your Voice in 2005. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Company commissioned Sweet Honey in the Rock to compose a score for its 50th anniversary celebrations in 2008. The group performed at the White House in 2009 for First Lady Michelle and President Barack Obama. In 2013, Sweet Honey in the Rock performed at the National Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. In 2015, they toured and performed at four U.S. Embassy’s located in Ethiopia, Peru, Jamaica and Swaziland. The group has produced over fifteen albums.

Maillard has also performed in numerous plays, including productions of The Great MacDaddy, A Photograph: Lovers in Motion, Home, Zooman and the Sign, Under Fire, Colored People’s Time, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and Spunk.

Maillard resides in New York City and has one adult child, Jordan Maillard Ware, who is also a musician.

Carol Maillard was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 21, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.044

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/21/2019

Last Name

Maillard

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Occupation
Schools

Gesu School

John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls' High School

Catholic University of America

First Name

Carol

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

MAI01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bali

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/4/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Short Description

Musician Carol Maillard (1951- ) is a co-founding member of the singing group, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and has performed in numerous plays and several television shows.

Employment

Duke Ellington School for Performing Arts

Two Rivers Theater

D.C. Black Repertory Theatre Company

Sweet Honey in the Rock

Favorite Color

White, Black, Red

Roy F. Eaton

Music producer Roy Eaton was born on May 14, 1930, in Harlem, New York, to Felix and Bernice Eaton, who were of Jamaican descent. Eaton graduated from the Music and Art High School in 1946 and simultaneously enrolled in two schools - the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied piano and musicology, and the City College of New York, where he studied history - graduating from both institutions in 1950. From 1950 to 1952, Eaton attended Yale University, earning his M.A. degree in musicology.

In 1951, Eaton made his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, performing Chopin. He then performed Beethoven in his debut at the Town Hall in New York in 1952. That same year, Eaton began working with the Manhattan School of Music as a concert pianist, performer, and lecturer. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1953, serving at a hospital radio station at Fort Dix in New Jersey, where he wrote and produced radio programs for two years. In 1955, Eaton left the Army and was hired at the advertising agency, Young & Rubicam, as a copywriter and composer, where over a two year period, he produced seventy-five percent of all of the agency’s music for products like Chef Boyardee’s Beefaroni, Gulf Oil, and Kent Cigarettes. In 1959, Eaton joined another advertising agency, Benton & Bowles, as its music director. There, he helped to sign the Jackson Five to their first advertising contract deal with Post Cereal. He also helped produce advertisements for Texaco, Yuban’s Coffee, and Hardees. Eaton was then promoted to vice president of the agency in 1968. In 1980, Eaton left Benton & Bowles to launch his own company, Roy Eaton Music Inc., where he helped coordinate music production for various advertising agencies, worked with Michael Jackson, and produced advertisements for companies like Coca-Cola and the Ad Council. Eaton returned to the concert stage in 1986, performing Chopin at the Lincoln Center, and went on to perform there two more times. He also toured to other countries and released five albums, one being an international success.

In 2010, Eaton was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Fame. Eaton has five sons, and lives on Roosevelt Island in New York with his wife and twin boys, Ari and Ravi.

Roy Eaton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 17, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.045

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/17/2019

Last Name

Eaton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Manhattan School of Music

City College of New York

Yale University

First Name

Roy

Birth City, State, Country

New York City

HM ID

EAT02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Your Life Is A Drama In Which You Are The Star And Director, But Not The Writer.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

5/14/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Jamaican

Short Description

Music producer Roy Eaton (1930 - ) produced seventy five percent of all of Young & Rubicam’s music for products like Chef Boyardee’s Beefaroni, Gulf Oil, and Kent Cigarettes in the 1950s. He became vice president of Benton & Bowles before founding Roy Eaton Music, Inc. in 1980.

Employment

Manhattan School of Music

US Army

Young & Rubicam

Benton & Bowles

Roy Eaton Music, Inc.

Favorite Color

Yellow and Purple

Willie L. Hill, Jr.

Professor and musician Willie L. Hill, Jr. was born on July 29, 1946 in Mobile, Alabama to Rennetta and Willie Hill, Sr. After graduating from Williamson High School in Mobile, Alabama, Hill received his B.S. degree in music education from Grambling State College in Grambling, Louisiana in 1968. He went on to receive both his M.M. Ph.D. degrees in music education from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1972 and 1987.

In 1968, Hill began teaching instrumental music in the Denver Public Schools, where he remained for sixteen years and was an instrumental music supervisor for four years. In 1984, Hill was a member of The Colorado Clarinet Choir touring organization, which represented the United States in London, England at the International Clarinet Symposium. He then joined the faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder College of Music, where he served as assistant dean and professor of music from 1988 to 1999. During that period, he also served as the director of education for the Thelonious Monk Institute in Los Angeles, California. In 1999, Hill was named professor of music education and director of the Fine Arts Center at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. As a woodwind specialist, he was also a faculty member of the Clark Terry Great Plains Jazz Camp. He founded and served as co-director of the Rich Matteson-Telluride Jazz Academy, and later founded the Mile High Jazz Camp in Boulder, Colorado. He also worked as musical director at The Schwayder and Bonfils Theaters. Hill was a member of the Denver Broncos Jazz Ensemble and a regular performer at the Denver Auditorium Theater, Paramount Theater, and Boettcher Concert Hall. Hill performed with George Burns, Liza Minnelli, Lena Horne, Lou Rawls, Ben Vereen, Lola Falana, Johnny Mathis, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Jon Faddis, and many others.

Hill served as president of The National Association for Music Education (MENC) and the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE). He was also a member of the writing team for MENC's Vision 2020 program and a member of the national board of directors for Young Audiences, Inc. Hill later served as president of the Colorado Music Educators Association and Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.

In 1998, he was inducted into the Colorado Music Educators Hall of Fame. In 2001, Hill was the recipient of the Lawrence Berk Leadership Award presented by the IAJE. Hill co-authored Learning to Sight-Read Jazz, Rock, Latin, and Classical Styles, and was the author of The Instrumental History of Jazz, Approaching the Standards, and Jazz Pedagogy: The Jazz Educator's Handbook and Resource Guide. Hill is listed in the first edition of Who's Who among Black Americans, Who's Who among International Musicians and was a 2003 Lowell Mason Fellow.

Willie L. Hill, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 5, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.221

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/5/2018

Last Name

Hill

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Willie

Birth City, State, Country

Mobile

HM ID

HIL19

Favorite Season

October

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Carribean

Favorite Quote

Never Put Off for Tomorrow What You Can Do Today

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

7/29/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Northampton

Favorite Food

Fried Fish

Short Description

Professor and musician Willie L. Hill, Jr. (1946- ) served as assistant dean and professor of music at the University of Colorado, Boulder and was named professor in music education and director of the Fine Arts Center at University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Favorite Color

Purple

William Banfield

Professor and composer William Banfield was born on March 24, 1961 in Detroit, Michigan to William Banfield and Anne Banfield. He attended Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan and graduated in 1979. Banfield enrolled at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and graduated with his B.M. degree in jazz studies in 1983. He later received his Th.M. degree from Boston University in 1988, and his D.M.A. degree from the University of Michigan in 1992.

Banfield accepted his first teaching position at Madison Park High School in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1983, he resigned from his position and founded BMagic Records. Two years later, Banfield founded Young Artists Development, Inc. After he received his D.M.A. degree in 1992, Banfield served as assistant professor of African American Studies/Music at Indiana University. In 1997, Banfield served as the endowed chair of humanities, professor of music, director of American cultural studies/jazz, popular, world music studies at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota. He then became the W.E.B. DuBois fellow at Harvard University in 2002. The following year, Banfield was the visiting Atelier artist at Princeton University; and, in 2005, he was hired as a visiting professor of composition at the University of Minnesota. Banfield subsequently accepted an appointment at the Berklee College of Music as a professor and director of the Africana Studies program. In 2010, he was hired by Quincy Jones’ foundation called the QFoundation, to write a national music curriculum for American popular music.

Banfield has also released a number of albums which include Extensions of the Tradition in 1996, Striking Balance in 2004, Spring Forward in 2009, and Playing with Other People’s Heads in 2014. He was also the host of National Public Radio’s “Landscapes in Color: Conversations with Black American Composers” and an original program on WCAL at St. Olaf College entitled, “Essays of Note.” Banfield has authored seven books, completed six symphonies and two operas. In 2014, Banfield launched JazzUrbane, a contemporary jazz recording label. He has also served on the Pulitzer Prize composition panel.

William Banfield was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 17, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.218

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/17/2018

Last Name

Banfield

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

BAN06

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

It Don't Mean A Thing, If It Ain't Got That Swing.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

3/24/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Professor and composer William Banfield (1961- ) was made director of Africana Studies at the Berklee College of Music in 2006, and has released several albums as a recording artist, wrote six symphonies and two operas, and published seven books.

Favorite Color

Blue

Vivian Male

Government administrator and jazz singer Vivian Male was born on July 13, 1949 in Boston, Massachusetts to Frances Lesueur Cromwell and Anthony Cromwell. She graduated from Jeremiah E. Burke High School and Boston Business School in Boston, Massachusetts; and went on to study voice at the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts in Boston. Later, she received her M.Ed. degree in management and administration from Cambridge College in 1980. Male also graduated from the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada in 1988.

In 1973, Male worked as the special assistant to then U.S. Senator Edward Brooke. In this role, she focused on issues of education. In 1979, Male became the deputy director of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation; and in 1988, Male was appointed by Governor Michael Dukakis to serve as an administrative judge for workers’ compensation issues in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. From there, Male went on to serve as a senior policy maker for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and as chairperson of the Appeals Board of Unemployment Insurance. In 1991, Male and several other women in Boston, including Callie Crossley, Dianne Wilkerson and Sarah-Ann Shaw, formed the Boston chapter of the Coalition of 100 Black Women. Now known as the Boston Coalition of Black Women, Inc. Male was then named director of equal opportunity operations at the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency in 1996. In 2000, Male was named director of equal opportunity at MassHousing.

Also, in 2000, Male made her recording debut on the collaborative album Boston Sings Out and later founded Vivian Male Productions through which she produced her music. She also performed at venues like the Berklee College of Music and the Negro Ensemble Company in New York City. In 2009, Male released her debut solo album, Our Day Will Come.

Male served as president of the Middlesex County Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, and was appointed to the board of trustees at Berklee College of Music in 1998. She was also a founding member of the Legacy Society at the Museum of African American History - Boston and Nantucket, and served on the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Issues. Male continued to perform throughout the Boston area, and was inducted into the Steppin’ Out Hall of Fame in 2007 at the Dimock Health Center alongside singer/songwriter George Benson. She was also a featured vocalist at the New England Emmy Awards, and performed the National Anthem for the New England Patriots several times.

Vivian Male was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 10, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.146

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/10/2018

Last Name

Male

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

C

Organizations
First Name

Vivian

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

MAL09

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Maarten

Favorite Quote

Control The Controllables.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

7/13/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Martha's Vineyard

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Salad

Short Description

Government administrator and jazz singer Vivian Male (1949- ) worked for the Massachusetts state government for over thirty years, in addition to launching a singing career as the founder and president of Vivian Male Productions.

Favorite Color

Sky Blue

Terisa Griffin

Singer Terisa Griffin was born on August 25, 1969 in Monroe, Louisiana. She graduated Wossman High School in Monroe, Louisiana and attended Northeastern Louisiana University in Monroe, Louisiana on a music scholarship where she studied operatic singing.

Griffin relocated to Chicago, Illinois and sang backup for Diana Ross on a telecast of The Oprah Winfrey Show. She also toured with R&B legend Jerry Butler. Griffin worked for various Chicago advertising agencies recording jingles for commercials. In 1997, Griffin established her own independent music company, My Naked Soul Productions where she wrote, produced and starred in a series of one-woman shows including: One Voice, One Woman, Fantasy-A Tribute to the Divas of Song and Stage: Josephine Baker, Lena Horne, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn, Queens of R & B- A Tribute to the Queens of Rhythm and Blues: Dinah Washington, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Donna Summers and Tina Turner, and Songs Divas – A Tribute to FamousSong.

In 1998, Griffin released her first album Songbird as an introduction of original and cover works showcasing her vocal skills. In 2002, she toured with Patti LaBelle and performed background vocals. That same year, Griffin produced and presented her one-woman show, One Woman. One Voice: A Musical Tribute to the Queens of Song. She also produced and presented Fantasy: The Divas of Song and Stage, a tribute to Josephine Baker, Eartha Kitt, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Lena Horne. Griffin debuted her first full-length release, My Naked Soul showcasing her talents as a songwriter and producer. In 2007, Griffin established the nonprofit organization, Better Love Yourself, Inc. and served as its CEO and president. In 2011, Griffin provided the title song and appeared in the independent short film The Truth, directed by Hill Harper. She also released her sophomore double-disc, Soulzophrenic ‘Personalities of Soul' R&B and Dance releases. In 2012, Terisa Griffin auditioned for the NBC television reality series The Voice with a performance of Adele’s Someone Like You where she was selected as a contestant on NBC’s The Voice Season 3. In 2015, Griffin made Billboard Charts with her CD Revival of Soul which peaked at #33 on August 27, 2016. In 2016, Griffin and Better Love Yourself, Inc. celebrated ten years of service.

Terisa Griffin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 11, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.142

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/14/2018

Last Name

Griffin

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Terisa

Birth City, State, Country

Monroe

HM ID

GRI12

Favorite Season

Autumn

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Italy

Favorite Quote

Better Love Yourself.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

8/25/1969

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Pork Chops, Rice, Gravy

Short Description

Singer Terisa Griffin (1969- ) has recorded numerous commercial jingles for popular brands and toured with music legends Jerry Butler and Patti LaBelle. She established My Naked Soul Productions, as owner and president in 1997.

Favorite Color

Pink