Black Stars: African American Musicians

Eleanora E. Tate

Much of American music really started out as African American music. Gospel, spirituals, ragtime, blues, jazz, rock and roll, and hip-hop?all were born in Black neighborhoods, created by African Americans who drew on their culture, their aspirations, and their talent. In this spirited collection, you’ll meet more than thirty African Americans who have forever changed America’s musical landscape. Jazz composers and stride pianists, concert singers and horn players, gospel and rap artists?all overcame obstacles of racism, segregation, and personal tragedy to lead the evolution of American music. Their inspirational stories, from before the Civil War to the present, reveal how:
Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, born a slave, became the first Black concert singer. She was known around the world as the “African Nightingale” and the “Black Swan” for her amazing voice.W. C. Handy conquered poverty to become a great cornet player and the composer of the “Memphis Blues”, the first popular blues song to be published.
Paul Robeson, a son of a former slave, became an All-American football player, his class valedictorian, a Columbia law graduate, a human rights activist, and a world-famous interpreter of spirituals. Duke Ellington, elegant painter turned pianist, composed thousands of songs, led an award-winning orchestra, and influenced every major jazz, blues, and big band musician today. Aretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul,” survived personal tragedy to win more Grammies than any other woman and became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Full of tales of courage, talent, and determination, this information-packed book illuminates these and other unforgettable musical stars, including Marian Anderson, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and Queen Latifah.

Cloth 24.95
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