Feb 1, 2024

In honor of the Black History Month, let's reflect on some legendary African American artists who have forever shaped the music as we know it today. After all, isn't the Black History Month meant to celebrate these individuals who have marked the struggle of these often African American personalities for better representation of black communities worldwide? Here are some legends for whom Diggers Factory had the opportunity to press vinyl projects:

Tina Turner, the rock legend, cannot be left out from this list. The artist, who unfortunately left us at the end of May 2023, not only mastered her art but also embodied the feminine strength of African Americans by starting a solo career at the age of 45, far surpassing her counterparts of the time by 20 years, all while escaping the clutches of an abusive husband. Her impact? Just look at Beyoncé's killer moves, Janet Jackson's performances, or Janelle Monáe's stage presence. A legend that will forever be described as "Simply The Best."

Louis Armstrong is simply considered the most influential artist in the early development of jazz, having created an influential style as an instrumentalist and singer. He recorded hits for five decades, and his music is still broadcasted today on television, radio, and in movies. In 1957, he was the only black jazz musician to publicly oppose school segregation, a protest that had global repercussions and influenced American politics. In 1960, an Armstrong concert was so popular that opposing factions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo temporarily suspended hostilities to attend. His cultural and musical influence remains universal and relevant today.

Not mentioning the legendary producer of "Thriller," aka Quincy Jones, would have been a serious omission from our list. Musician, composer, arranger, record producer, conductor, actor, and American film producer, he had an exceptional and versatile career in the music and entertainment industry. He worked with some of the most iconic artists in music, including Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and many others. He won numerous Grammy Awards throughout his career and is also known for his contributions to film music, with compositions for films such as "The Color Purple" and "In the Heat of the Night." Quincy Jones is widely recognized as one of the most influential and respected figures in the music industry.

We would never dare to forget the legendary "King of the Boogie," John Lee Hooker from our list. A legendary American blues musician, John Lee Hooker was a skilled guitarist and singer. Hooker developed a distinctive blues style, marked by his hypnotic rhythm, minimalist guitar playing, and deep, guttural singing. His musical career spanned several decades. Just listen to "Boogie Chillen," "Boom Boom," or "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" to realize it! John Lee Hooker's influence touched many artists and musical genres, and he is considered one of the pillars of American blues, as evidenced by his induction into the Blues Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

She's called "Sassy," "The Divine One," or simply Sarah Vaughan. Vaughan was an exceptional American jazz singer known for her powerful voice, wide vocal range, and ability to navigate through different musical styles, from jazz to pop to gospel. Her career began in the 1940s, and she quickly became one of the most respected and influential jazz singers. Sarah Vaughan left an indelible mark on the history of music. Sarah Vaughan recorded many acclaimed albums during her career, including "Sarah Vaughan with Clifford Brown," which is often considered one of the best vocal jazz recordings of all time. Her performances were characterized by exceptional vocal technique, emotional expressiveness, and masterful interpretation of jazz standards. Over the years, she won several Grammy Awards, including one for her entire career. Sarah Vaughan had a major influence on many artists, and her legacy continues in the world of jazz and beyond.

You can find some of the projects of the aforementioned artists and many others who have made the pride of black communities worldwide on our website. So don't wait any longer and celebrate Black History Month with us!