Great African American Musicians: From Marian Anderson to Stevie Wonder

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This book provides outstanding biographical portraits of seventy- eight Black musicians. All entries were born prior to the Civil Rights Movement and represent the elite of musicians born during their era. The biographical data includes information that establishes a standard of recognition of each entry’s success story. This includes, but is not limited to, honors/awards, commissioned works, selective discography, film/movie appearances, music style, music technique, song titles and major performance. This book contains 103 black and white photographs.


“The information on each musician is substantive, interesting and provocative to such a level that the reader will feel compelled to invest additional time in exploring the worldly contributions of the Black musicians who appear in this book as well as others whose career and societal recognition surfaced following the Civil Rights Movement.
The fundamental uniqueness of a Black person’s contribution to music culture in the United States and internationally emerges in the portrait of each musician. Given the time frame for each selection, I view this book as a bridge to cultural relevance — past and present.” – Dr. Richard Bradberry, Bowie State University

“This book is one that everyone should read, from Jazz lovers and classical enthusiasts to Gospel and secular music listeners. This work is one that will assuredly proclaim its place in the annuals of time.” – John Newson, Howard University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Dr. Richard Bradberry, Bowie State University
List of Biographies
Marian Anderson
Thomas Jefferson (T.J.) Anderson
Daniel Louis (Satchmo) Armstrong
Martina Arroyo
Pearl Mae Bailey
William (Count) James Basie
Leon E. Bates
Harold George (Harry) Belafonte, Jr.
Hubert (Eubie) Blake
Grace Melzia (Ann) Bumbry
Cabell (Cab) Calloway III
James Cleveland
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
John William “Trane” Coletrane
Andrae E. Crouch
Noel Da Costa
Clamma Churita Dale
Miles Dewey Davis
Sammy Davis, Jr.
Leonard Etienne De Paur
Robert Nathaniel Dett
Mattiwilda Dobbs
Edward Kennedy (Duke) Ellington
Simon Lamont Estes
Ella Fitzgerald
William Patrick Foster
Aretha Franklin
Harry Lawrence Freeman
Erroll Louis Gamer
Marvin Gaye
John Birks (Dizzy) Gillespie
Odetta (Odetta Holmes Felious Gordon)
Earl Grant
Reri Grist
Jester Joseph Hairston
Lionel Hampton
William Christopher (W.C.) Handy
Coleman (Bean) Hawkins
Roland Hayes
Natalie Leota Henderson Hinderas
Earl Kenneth (Fatha) Hines
John Rosamond Johnson
Quincy Delight Jones
Ulysses Simpson Kay
Riley B. (B.B.) King
Johnny (John Royce) Mathis
Curtis Mayfield
The Mills Brothers
Charles Mingus
Leona Mitchell
Modem Jazz Quartet
Dorothy Rudd Moore
Jessye Norman
Charles Christopher (Bird or Yardbird) Parker
Willis Patterson
Coleridge Taylor Perkinson
Oscar Emmanuel Peterson
Leontyne Price
Della (Dellareese Talliaferro) Reese
Rufus L. Reid
Maxwell Lemuel (Max) Roach
Raymond (Ray) Charles Robinson
William (Smokey) Robinson
Diana Ross
Calvin Simmons
Noble Sissle
William Grant Still
William Edward (Billy) Taylor
Clark Terry
Frederick C. Tillis
Sarah Lois Vaughn
Shirley Verrett
Will Henry Bennett Vodery
George Theophilus Walker
Dionne Warwick
Andre Watts
Andrew Nathaniel White
Stevie Wonder (Stevland Judkins Morris)

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