All entries by this author

Salem Poor

Jun 26th, 2011 | By
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1750?-?  Salem Poor was a distinguished military hero who fought valiantly in the American Revolution.  This courageous African American made a significant contribution to the struggle to create an independent United States of America.  But in a sad commentary on the plight of Blacks of that time, he was unable to enjoy any fitting recognition
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Bill Pickett

Jun 25th, 2011 | By
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1870-1932  Bill Pickett was the most famous African American rodeo performer of all time, and the first black cowboy movie star. He invented a way of controlling steers called “bulldogging,” and became a star attraction of wild west shows. Now known as “Steer Wrestling,” the event he created remains a popular part of rodeos to
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Robert Johnson

Jun 24th, 2011 | By
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1911?-1938  Robert Johnson combined a virtuosic talent with the legend of a bargain with the Devil to create a sound and a mythos that has infused the blues. His music influenced all subsequent developments in the blues, pop, and rock genres, as well as many notable musicians of the 20th and 21st centuries. Early Interest,
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Roberto Clemente

Jun 22nd, 2011 | By
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1934-1972  Roberto Clemente rose through the amateur leagues in his native Puerto Rico and the minor leagues in the United States to become one of the most accomplished hitters and fielders in the history of baseball. His career highlights include four National League batting titles, 12 Golden Glove Awards, and National League and World Series
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John James Audubon

Jun 22nd, 2011 | By
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1785 – 1851  John James Audubon channeled a passionate interest in birds and their environment into a new way of depicting wildlife, and became one the of the great artists of the 19th century in the process. His audacious work, depicting every North American bird species, exemplified the new country’s pioneer spirit, and his name
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Howlin’ Wolf

Jun 21st, 2011 | By
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1910-1976  Chester Arthur Burnett, aka Howlin’ Wolf, projected the elemental power of the blues through his six-foot, three-inch, 275-pound frame, raw feral voice, electric guitar, and harmonica to stunning effect. He was a major contributor to the evolution of the electric Chicago blues, blues/rock, and rock and roll. Farming to Singing Wolf was born in
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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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