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African American Music

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Funkiest Man Alive

Rufus Thomas may not be a household name, but he is widely regarded as the patriarch of Memphis R&B, and his music influenced three generations. His first singles in the early 1950s were recorded as blues ...

Feel My Big Guitar

Contributions by Ignatius Calabria, H. Zahra Caldwell, Brian Jude de Lima, Sabatino DiBernardo, William Fulton, Antonio Garfias, Judson L. Jeffries, Tony Kiene, Molly Reinhoudt, Fred Shaheen, and Karen ...

William Levi Dawson

William Levi Dawson (1899–1990) overcame adversity and Jim Crow racism to become a nationally recognized composer, choral arranger, conductor, and professor of music. In William Levi Dawson: American ...

Do You Remember?

In Do You Remember? Celebrating Fifty Years of Earth, Wind & Fire, Trenton Bailey traces the humble beginning of Maurice White, his development as a musician, and his formation of Earth, Wind & Fire, ...

Creole Soul

Creole Soul: Zydeco Lives is an exquisitely photographed volume of interviews with contemporary zydeco musicians. Featuring the voices of zydeco’s venerable senior generation and its current agents of ...

Wasn’t That a Mighty Day

Wasn’t That a Mighty Day: African American Blues and Gospel Songs on Disaster takes a comprehensive look at sacred and secular disaster songs, shining a spotlight on their historical and cultural importance. ...

Songs of Slavery and Emancipation

Throughout the history of slavery, enslaved people organized resistance, escape, and rebellion. Sustaining them in this struggle was their music, some examples of which are sung to this day. While the ...

Following the Drums

Following the Drums: African American Fife and Drum Music in Tennessee is an epic history of a little-known African American instrumental music form. John M. Shaw follows the music from its roots in West ...

Voices of Black Folk

In the late 1920s, Reverend A. W. Nix (1880–1949), an African American Baptist minister born in Texas, made fifty-four commercial recordings of his sermons on phonographs in Chicago. On these recordings, ...

Instruments of Empire

At the turn of the twentieth century, the United States extended its empire into the Philippines while subjugating Black Americans in the Jim Crow South. And yet, one of the most popular musical acts ...