Spreadin' Rhythm Around: Black Popular Songwriters, 1880-1920

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Spreadin' Rhythm Around: Black Popular Songwriters, 1880-1930 is a classic work on a little-studied subject in American music history: the contribution of African-American songwriters to the world of popular song. Hailed by Publishers Weekly as "thoroughly researched and entertainingly written," this work documents the careers of songwriters like James A. Bland ("Carry Me Back to Ole Virginny"), Bert Williams ("Nobody"), W. C. Handy ("St. Louis Blues"), Noble Sissle, Eubie Blake ("I'm Just Wild About Harry"), and many more. Richly illustrated with rare photographs from sheet music, newspapers, and other unique sources, the book documents an entire era of performance when black singers, dancers, and actors were active on the New York stage.

In sheer depth of research, new information, and full coverage, Spreadin' Rhythm Around offers a comprehensive picture of the contributions of black musicians to American popular song. For anyone interested in the history of jazz, pop song, or Broadway, this book will be a revelation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Spreadin' Rhythm Around: Black Popular Songwriters provides the definitive study on the contributino of African-American songwriters to popular song...A lively work of scholarship." —The Midwest Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415977043
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 10/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dave Jasen and Gene Jones are the authors of Black Bottom Stomp (Routledge, 2001) and That American Rag (1998). Well-known as authorities on jazz and blues, each is recognized as a leader in the field. On his own, Jasen authored for Routledge Tin Pan Alley7: An Encyclopedia (2003) and A Century of American Pop (2002). They live in New York City.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Authors' Note

Prologue: Before Pop

Chapter 1: "In the Evening by the Moonlight"
The Minstrel Era and the Beginnings of Tin Pan Alley
James A. Bland
Gussie L. Davis

Chapter 2: "Stay in Your Own Back Yard"
Black Songwriters of the Coon Song Era
Irving Jones
Ernest Hogan
Bert Williams

Chapter 3: "Tell Me, Dusky Maiden"
The First Black Composers on Broadway
Will Marion Cook
Bob Cole and J. Rosamond Johnson

Chapter 4: Business is Business with Me
The First Black Publishers of Popular Music
Shep Edmonds
Cecil Mack

Chapter 5: Livin High (Sometimes)
Black Songwriters of the Teens and Twenties
Chris Smith
Shelton Brooks
James Reese Europe
Spencer Williams
Maceo Pinkard
Jo Trent
Andy Razaf

Chapter 6: Aunt Hagar's Children
The Black Entrepreneurs of the Blues
W. C. Handy
Perry Bradford
Clarence Williams
J. Mayo Williams

Chapter 7: If You've Never Been Vamped by a Brown Skin
Black Theatre Composers of the 1920's
Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake
Henry Creamer and Turner Layton
James P. Johnson
Fats Waller

Select Bibliography
Index of Song Titles
General Index
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