African Americans At the Birth of the Recording Industry

Thursday, November 5th 2015
7pm - 8:30pm
Tucker Hall, 127A
350 James Blair Dr
Williamsburg, VA 23185

The first 30 years of the commercial recording industry (1890-1919) was a period in which African American music and culture was evolving dramatically. From the sudden emergence of ragtime and its evolution of jazz, to the development of a vibrant black high culture scene, African American sensibilities were beginning to insinuate themselves into mainstream America. Among the pioneers who committed their music and voices to cylinders and discs were Broadway start Bert Williams, "St. Louis Blues" composer W.C. Handy, and jazz pioneers James Reese Europe, Wilbur Sweatman, and Eubie Blake, among many others. In this presentation, Brooks will examine rarely heard recordings dating back from the 1890s to 1919.

TIM BROOKS is the author of the book "Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1890-1919" (2004). Regarded as one of television's leading historians, Brooks has made a career as a writer on television and record industry history. His most recent book "College Radio Days" (2013) explores 70 years of student broadcasting at Dartmouth College.

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