Billie Holiday: A Force to be Reckoned With

Born Eleanora Fagan on April 7, 1915, Billie Holiday is a Philadelphia native although some may argue her birthplace as Baltimore, Maryland.  Her mother had her as a teenager and her father who is believed to be Clarence Holiday, also a successful jazz musician, was absent. The lack of a stable home landed Holiday in […]

Decades of Gospel Evolution

Gospel is a genre of music used to spread the teachings of Christ. As years have gone on, gospel has become more creative and mixed with other genres such as rap, country and even go-go. Although, the style of music has changed, the message stays the same. 1920s Arizona Dranes among many other artists popularized […]

The Hidden Meaning Behind Your Favorite Negro Spiritual

Previous Next Modern day society’s art expression had practical uses for our ancestors. For example, cornrows are rumored to be used as maps or food storage for the survival of the enslaved. In a sense, music was used in a similar way. Music and religion were an integral part of everyday life in Africa. Christianity was […]

Legends Never Die: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Many may have recently met Ma Rainey in Netflix’s new film, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” but the mother of blues has been on the folk-blues scene. One of her popular songs titled “Deep Moaning Blues” incorporates instruments commonly used in folk music such as the banjo and guitar. Rainey’s music is an embodiment of the […]