Can You Dig It??: The Rise of Disco

CAN YOU DIG IT??: THE RISE OF DISCO The origins of the disco genre begin in underground dance venues in New York City in the 1970s, primarily by African American, Latino and gay dancers. The music was made to influence dancing and intersect fashion and hairstyles during that time. Disco also brought forth the presence […]

“Take Me to the King”: The Transformation of Black Gospel Music

“TAKE ME TO THE KING”: THE TRANSFORMATION OF BLACK GOSPEL MUSIC Gospel music is the 20th century of African American religious music that came after the Great Migration. Thomas Dorsey, “The Father of Gospel Music” originally was a blues and jazz pianist and composer, but he devoted his time to develop and advance gospel music. […]

It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing

It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing The formation of jazz can be contributed to genres ragtime, blue and African American religious music, especially as some of these genres overlapped at the beginning of the 1920s. Starting in New Orleans, Lousiana, Jazz brought a more upbeat vibe, especially as brass […]

Empress of Blues: Bessie Smith

Empress of Blues: Bessie Smith Blues: the genre of pain and sorrow. There literally could not have been another name that was more fitting for this genre, especially when we take a look at the personal lives of the most famous and popular blues singers. They were often going through serious economic, political and social […]

Let Them Eat Cake: The History of Cakewalks

Let Them Eat Cake: The History of Cakewalks Every year in my elementary school, we would have annual cake walks. I absolutely loved them and thought they were an absolutely brilliant way to fundraise money. I mean how much better could it get? Let me set the scene: a huge table is placed in […]

Let the Spirit Move You: The Gospel Period of Jubilee Quartets

Let the Spirit Move You: The Gospel Period of Jubilee Quartets By the mid-1800s, society had gotten used to the slow and solemn Negro Spirituals, but they had no idea that Quartets were about to make their grand appearance. What would be considered a group of 4 singers in Westernized music, African American quartets were […]

From the Cotton Field to Concert Halls

FROM THE COTTON FIELD TO CONCERT HALLS Negro Spirituals originated from the hymns and somber melodies sung by enslaved people working on plantations as religious music to express Christian religious values and trials. European missionaries introduced hymns and psalms to enslaved people, but African Americans combined their roots of West and Central Africa with their […]

UNSUNG (Folk Edition): Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten

UNSUNG (Folk Edition): Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten In today’s society, many people have assumptions about what they think Folk music was about, as well as who created Folk music. Well, many probably do not know that the creators were not Southern white men with banjos, but African Americans expressing their grief and struggles from being captured […]