Arts & Entertainment

Marian Anderson

Jul 11th, 2011 | By
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1897-1993  Marian Anderson joined a church choir when she was six years old, and never stopped singing. Among the most celebrated classical voices of the 20th century, she enjoyed a luminous international career in which she dazzled audiences throughout America and Europe, broke color barriers, and helped pave the way for the rise of African
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Charles Chesnutt

Jul 5th, 2011 | By
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1858-1932  Charles Waddell Chesnutt distinguished himself as a prominent writer of short stories, essays, and novels. He addressed issues of race relations and slavery in his work, using irony and humor. Later in his career, he became a social and political activist. A Varied Beginning Chesnutt was born on June 20, 1858, to Andrew Jackson
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Count Basie

Jul 4th, 2011 | By
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1904-1984  William Basie used his training as an accompanist to develop one of the world’s greatest big bands with a “who’s who” of jazz singers, instrumentalists, composers, and arrangers. His precise piano style and swinging rhythm section set the standard for future artists, and attracted audiences and fans for over 50 years. Stranded in Kansas
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Dinah Washington

Jul 2nd, 2011 | By
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1924-1963 Dinah Washington was one of the most beloved, versatile, and popular singers of her generation and, indeed, in all of American popular music history. An artistic descendent of classic Blues Age divas such as Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey, she built on her early gospel roots to master a wide range of genres. These
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Scott Joplin

Jul 1st, 2011 | By
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1868?-1917  Scott Joplin became a hugely popular composer twice over, once during his lifetime and again a half-century later. The “ragtime” style he popularized was a precursor to his other efforts in opera and orchestral music, and his rags are still performed by classical as well as jazz ensembles today. From Texas, Self-Taught Joplin was
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Roberta Martin

Jun 30th, 2011 | By
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1907-1969  Roberta Martin played a crucial role in the evolution of gospel music and in the development of the broad popularity that the form enjoys to this day. She combined classical piano training with profound spirituality to create a unique sound, while launching the careers of many gospel greats. Chicago Sound Martin was born in
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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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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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