Elements of Folk/African American Music

  1. Negro Spirituals are the earliest form of African American music and were derived from the struggles of slavery, forced mass migration, and assimilation.
  2. Blues music was created after the abolition of slavery, and reflected the ongoing struggles of new life as a “freedman”. It eventually evolved into Rynthm & Blues.
  3. George W. Johnson was the first black man to commercially record music in 1890.
  4. Jazz has roots at the beginning of Slavery in America, and rose again to prominence in the 1940s with the end of ragtime and blues.
  5. Tommy Edwards was the first black musician to place on the Top 100 List in 1958.
  6. Ella Fitzgerald was the first Black artist to win a grammy for her song “”A- Tisket, A-Tisket” in 1958.
  7. Negroe Spirituals evolved into Gospel music which rose in popularity throughout the 20th century.
  8. The first vocal blues recording was by “Mamie Smith” in 1920, entitled Crazy Blues. She’s known as the Mother of Blues.
  9. In 1921 Black Swan Records was created in Harlem, It was the first black-owned record label. 
  10. Rhythm and Blues were first categorized as “ race music” and were widely disregarded by the White public in America.
  11.  In 1955, “Tutti Fruit” was released by Little Richard, it was one of the first records widely listened to by both white and black audiences. 
  12. Big Mama Thorton was the first artist to sing “ Hounddog”, this song sold millions of copies and was later famously stolen by Elvis Presley.
  13. Jimi Hendrix came out with his debut album, Get that Feeling in 1967. It created the genre of psychedelic rock.
  14.  Stevie Wonder released his debut jazz album “ The Jazz Soul of Life” when he was only 12 years old.
  15. Marvin Gaye helped to shape the sound of Motown Records and eventually  became known as “ The prince of Motown”
  16.  Ray Charles was doing a crossover with ABC records and became one of the first black artists to have creative control of their work at a white label.
  17. Hip-Hop started in New York in the 1970’s, the main tenets are MCing, DJing, Breakdancing, Graffiti, and Knowledge,
  18.  Thriller was released in 1982, and still holds the records for best selling album of all time.
  19.  Diana Ross left The Supremes in 1970 and released her first solo record the same year. She was named as the best female singer by Guinness World Records in 1993.
  20.  At the beginning of NWA’s rap career in 1986, they were banned from most radio stations due to the language and content of their music.

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