Archive for June 2011

Muddy Waters

Jun 20th, 2011 | By
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1915-1983  Muddy Waters was the first to make the leap from acoustic Delta Blues to amplified electric Chicago Blues. In so doing, he became an internationally famous performer, a top-selling recording artist, and in many respects, the progenitor of urban blues, rock and roll, and all of their descendants. Delta Origins Waters was born McKinley
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Clara Ward

Jun 18th, 2011 | By
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1924-1973  Clara Ward applied her unique talent as a singer, pianist, and arranger to join with her family in creating one of the most popular gospel acts of all time. Together they combined an unprecedented fusion of church and popular performance elements with an entrepreneurial spirit and drive, leading to enormous commercial and artistic success.
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Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Jun 17th, 2011 | By
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1921-1973  Sister Rosetta Tharpe rose from the Sanctified tradition of church music to become one of the most famous performers of her time, bridging gospel and blues genres, and black and white audiences, with an inspirational vocal and guitar style all her own. In so doing, she pioneered the new form of pop-gospel music and
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Jimmy Rushing

Jun 16th, 2011 | By
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1901?-1972  Jimmy Rushing lent his distinctive tenor voice to many of jazz’s great big bands, and he then emerged equally powerfully as solo artist. He personified the evolution of African American music from its blues roots to jazz expression, and brought a unique sensitivity and understanding to the lyrics he so joyfully sang. Violin, Piano,
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Ma Rainey

Jun 15th, 2011 | By
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1886-1939  Ma Rainey was the first known minstrel and variety performer to incorporate the “country blues” style in her singing, fueling an explosion in the genre’s popularity. She built a successful recording career on her live shows’ success, and finally devoted herself to charity and church work when the early blues era had passed. Ma
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Mahalia Jackson

Jun 14th, 2011 | By
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1911 – 1972  Mahalia Jackson expressed an uplifting spiritual force with a unique voice and musical style, combining elements of Sanctified, Baptist, Blues, and Jazz music. Her ability to convey a moving sense of hope and human aspiration touched audiences worldwide, and made Gospel music the broadly popular genre it is today. Jackson was born
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Nat King Cole

Jun 13th, 2011 | By
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1917-1965  Nat King Cole enjoyed hugely successful careers in both jazz, as a pianist and group leader, and popular music as a singer. He bridged many worlds of entertainment, and was a mellow-voiced artistic ambassador to audiences worldwide. Chicago Jazz Born Nathaniel Coles in 1917 in Montgomery, Alabama, Cole and his family moved to Chicago
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Whitney M. Young, Jr.

Jun 12th, 2011 | By
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1921 – 1971  Whitney Moore Young, Jr. was a pioneering social worker who redefined the role of that profession, and its importance to the civil rights cause. His progressive work as the executive director of the National Urban League, and his efforts to bridge racial boundaries and usher African Americans into the social and economic
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Sonny Terry

Jun 11th, 2011 | By
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1911-1986  Sonny Terry developed a unique sound on the harmonica, while melding folk and blues traditions, and with his long-time partner Brownie McGhee popularized the style for broad audiences nationwide and globally. He became the best-known harmonica player of his time, and one of the most famous folk/blues musicians ever, influencing subsequent generations of artists
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Asa Philip Randolph

Jun 10th, 2011 | By
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1889 – 1979  Asa Philip Randolph was the preeminent organizer of African Americans in pursuit of labor, civil, and human rights. He built upon his success in the labor movement to bring about social change by influencing U.S. Presidents, the Congress, and other federal institutions, and made a vital contribution to the campaign for equal
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