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African Americans--Music




American Popular Song: Will Marion Cook's Lyrics and Life.

We continue the Monday rebroadcasts of our American Popular song series, with a program about composer Will Marion Cook. He was born in 1869 and was part of the first generation born after slavery. Cook was one of the innovators of ragtime song, and helped introduce ragtime to Broadway. Cook wrote “In Dahomey” the first full-length Broadway musical written and performed by African Americans. It opened on Broadway in 1903. Some of Cook’s songs reflect the racial stereotypes and dialect of the time.


The Story of the Jubilee Singers.

Andrew Ward is the author of “Dark Midnight When I Rise: The Story of the Jubilee Singers, Who Introduced the World to the Music of Black America” (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux). The Jubilee singers were nine former slaves who who set off from Nashville in 1871 to raise money to rescue their school, Fisk University, from bankruptcy. They toured the U.S., Britain, and Europe introducing audiences to African-American spirituals. The Jubilee singers are also the subject of an upcoming American Experience documentary on PBS. (Monday, May 1, 2000 at 9:00)


From the Archives: Eric Clapton Discusses His Early Career.

Rock guitarist Eric Clapton. His friends call him "Slowhand," his fans call him "God." Whatever name he goes by, Eric Clapton is at or near the top of any list of the greatest guitar players in rock history. Clapton started out playing blues with the Yardbirds (For Your Love) in the early 60s, then played with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers before forming Cream, one of the 60s most influential bands (Crossroads, White Room). His latest album is "Blues" (Polydor).


From the Archives: Peter Guralnick Discusses "Searching for Robert Johnson."

Music writer Peter Guralnick. is author of "Searching For Robert Johnson" which examines the brief life of perhaps the greatest blues musician of all time. In the 20s and 30s, Johnson was "King of the Delta Blues Singers," and a sensation throughout the South. Johnson died at age 27, shot to death by a jealous husband, but his music continued to be studied and copied by artists such as Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones. (REBROADCAST from 10/20/89.)


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