Miller Charmaine

Charmaine's adventures in news writing and editing

African-American songs

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Reading Rainbow

History of Jazz

Slaves were free– now what? African-Americans started to be noticed by whites for their artistic talents!

Harlem Renaissance

There was a burst of creative output flowing from African-Americans in Harlem, New York in the 1920s and 1930s.  Swing and Jazz!

But more than one type of music was being played at this time. Blues, which became popular in the 1950s, traces its roots back to slave plantations in the Deep South. It was a mixture of different types of music.

The Blues came from all of these genres: Gospel (mostly church songs from African American congregations), Jazz, Country (Guitars, banjos, fiddles and harmonicas) and Work Songs (songs people sang as they worked in the fields). Singing made the time go by quicker. It made them feel better. Bits and pieces of this music formed the Blues!

Robert Johnson

Bo Diddley, who was inspired by many Blues artists, helped connect the Blues to the  Rock ‘n’ Roll of the 1950s and 1960s. He is known for his famous Bo Diddley beat. 1 2 3 45. He lived in Archer, Fla. the last 13 years of his life and often played in the plaza now known as Bo Diddley Plaza to raise awareness of the homeless.

At this time, rock ‘n’ roll was being introduced and was seen as edgy and wild, listened to and enjoyed mostly by teenagers.

Here is Fats Domino in “Ain’t That a Shame”

But there was a kind of music everyone was seeming to enjoy in the 1950s: pop music in the form of Motown.

Motown was a record company that made many African-American artists famous. Their catchy tunes seemed to bridge the gap between white and black music as whites also tried their hand in this genre.

Motown + Rock ‘n’ Roll= Whites and Blacks coming together musically! This was all happening during the Civil Rights movement.

I got to meet a member of this group: Andy and the Marglows.

His name is Terry Huff. Here he was in 2012 when I interviewed him in Washington, D.C.

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Written by charmainemiller

March 6, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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