Albright, D. A. "If not forgotten then misunderstood: The
African-American traveling minstrel show." Living blues: A journal of
the black American blues tradition. (Mar-Apr 1993) 24(2): 36-41.
The black minstrel shows of early-20th-century America were major influences on
how Americans were-and still are-entertained. They offered blacks rare
opportunities for travel and employment outside menial tasks. They also offered
stardom of a limited sort, and, to certain extent, wealth. (Torres, George)
American Popular Music: Readings from the Popular Press, Bowling
Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1989.
Anderson, L. M. "From blackface to 'genuine Negroes':
nineteenth-century minstrelsy and the icon of the 'Negro'". Theatre
Research (Spring 1996) 21: 17-23.
The author presents an exploration of the minstrel popularity of the 19th
century and the audience’s perception of the black slaves.
Badger, R. A Life in Ragtime: a biography of James Reese Europe.
New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
James Reese Europe was a pivotal composer-conductor who helped jazz's evolution
away from ragtime--a significant-enough accomplishment, especially considering
Reese's relatively short life (he was murdered at 39 in 1919). But Badger's
engrossing biography proves that Europe was an American hero both in front of
and far away from an orchestra. Badger's analyses of Europe's compositions are
well informed and suitably augmented with commentary from such notable
collaborators as Eubie Blake. Badger shows, too, that Europe helped restyle
modern dance through his collaborations with Vernon and Irene Castle; and he
includes chapters on the Clef Club, one of the earliest African American
musicians' unions, which Europe helped create. Europe's career took an
incredible turn during World War I, an episode Badger carefully details: while
the triumphs of the all-black 369th Infantry Regiment are legendary, few know
that Europe was the first African American officer to lead troops in combat
during the war. A Life in Ragtime is one of the most important works of jazz
scholarship to emerge in quite some time. (Aaron Cohen-Booklist- (December 1, 1994))
Bastin, B. "Black music in North Carolina". North Carolina
Folklore (1979) 27: 2-19.
Bean, A., J. V. Hatch, et al., Eds. Inside the Minstrel Mask: Readings in
Nineteenth-Century Blackface Minstrelsy. Hanover, NH : Wesleyan University Press, 1996.
Berlin, E. King of Ragtime. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
Blair, J. G. "Blackface Minstrels in Cross-Cultural
Perspective". American Studies International (1990) 28(2):
Bostick, N. and A. LaBrew. "Harry P. Guy and the Ragtime Era of Detroit". The
Rag-Time Ephemeralist. [cited February 6, 2004]. Available from
Short biography of this gifted music arranger
Brown, T. A. A history of the New York stage from the first
performance in 1732 to 1901. New York: Dodd, Mead and company, 1903.
Brown, J. "The 'coon singer' and the 'coon song': A case study of
the performer-character." Journal of American Culture (Spring-Summer 1984) VII: 1-8.
The terms coon singer and coon song were used first by composers and performers
in the ragtime era. The coon character drew heavily on the minstrel tradition:
wearing blackface, both black and white performers combined racially offensive
lyrics with syncopated music from black-American culture. Sophie Tucker and
Bert Williams both achieved early success as coon singers. ( Anna J. Horton-
Burkholder, E. V. "America's forgotten minstrel". Coronet
(1960) 49: 193-6.
A biographical essay about James A. Bland ( 1854 - 1911), composer of the song
"Carry Me Back to Old Virginny."
Faced with racial discrimination, Bland left the U.S. to live in England where
he was a star performer. He continued to compose many hits such as "Oh,
Dem Golden Slippers" and "In the Evening By the Moonlight".
Carter, M. G. "The Life and Music of Will Marion Cook". In Music
(Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois, 1988). 651.
Carter, M. G. "The 'New Negro' Legacy of Will Marion Cook". Afro-Americans
in New York Life and History (1999) 23(1): 25-.
Carter, U. "Black American Music: From jazz to hip-hop." New
Pittsburgh Courier, 1 Feb 2003.
Short descriptions of Black American music including Black minstrels and
Cockrell, D. Demons of Disorder: early blackface minstrels and their
world. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
A study of blackface minstrels in the first half of the nineteenth century.
Dale Cockrell examines issues of race and class in relation to the early 19th
century blackface minstrelsy trend. He uses a variety of songs including Jim
Crow and Zip Coon to investigate the roots of this particular style of
entertainment. (Review-Books in Print)
Cook, W. M. (1971). "Clorindy, the Origin of the Cakewalk". In Readings
in Black American Music, (New York: W. W. Norton, 1971).
Reprinted from Theater Arts, (September): 61-65, 1947
Curry, A. (2002). "Men in blackface". U.S. News & World Report (2002) 133:
A short article addressing the influence of the minstrel craze.
Davidson, F. C. (1952). "The Rise, Development, Decline and Influence of the
American Minstrel Show". Speech-Theater (New York: New York University, 1952.)
Day, C. H. and T. A. Brown. Fun in black; or, Sketches of minstrel
life. New York: R M De Witt, 1874.
DeFrantz, T. (2000). "Demons of Disorder." TDR (2000) 44(3): 183-188.
Article includes reviews of "Demons of Disorder: Early Blackface Minstrels
and Their World" by Dale Cockrell and "Inside the Minstrel Mask:
Readings in Nineteenth-Century Blackface Minstrelsy" edited by Annemarie
Bean, James V. Hatch and Brooks McNamara.
Dennison, S. Scandalize my name: Black imagery in American popular
music. New York: Garland Publishing, 1982.
Although the source’s content is valid when it was written, the early date of
publishing makes it somewhat obsolete. There have been many changes in today’s
black imagery in current popular music. However, it is interesting to read the
earlier ideas on the subject.
DuBois, W. E. B. "Chapter XIV - The Sorrow Songs." The Souls of Black
Dunson, S. (2002). "The Minstrel in the Parlor: Nineteenth-Century Sheet
Music and the Domestication of Blackface Minstrelsy." ATQ (2002) 16(4): 241 - 256.
A scholarly article discussing the parallel but distinct development of sheet
music as a blackface medium in the home. Includes illustrations.
Epstein, D. J. P. Sinful tunes and spirituals: Black folk music to
the Civil War. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1977.
Finson, J. W. The voices that are gone: themes in nineteenth-century
American popular song. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
Fletcher, T. 100 Years of the Negro in Show Business. New York:
Burdge & Company, 1954.
Fredrickson, G. M. The Black image in the white mind: the debate on
Afro-American character and destiny, 1817-1914. New York: Harper & Row, 1971.
Gracyk, T. Music That Americans Loved 100 Years Ago --Tin Pan Alley, Broadway
Show Tunes, Ragtime (and Related "Coon Songs"), and Sousa Marches. [cited February 6, 2003].
Available from http://www.garlic.com/~tgracyk/century.htm [archive].
Gracyk, T. Popular American Recording Pioneers, 1895-1925. New York:
Haworth Press, 2000.
Green, A. W. C. "'Jim Crow' 'Zip Coon': The Northern Origins of
Negro Minstrelsy." Massachusetts Review: A Quarterly of Literature, the
Arts and Public Affairs (1970) 11: 385-97.
Gura, P. F. "America's minstrel daze." The New England
Quarterly (1999) 72(4): 602-617.
Author reviews "Behind the Burnt Cork Mask: Early Blackface Minstrelsy and
Antebellum American Culture" by William Mahar, "Demons of Disorder:
Early Blackface Minstrels and Their World by Dale Cockrell, "Raising Cane:
Blackface Performance from Jim Crow to Hip-Hop" by W. T. Lhamon .
Guy, H. P. Echoes from the Snowball Club: ragtime waltz. Detroit:
Willard Bryant, 1898.
Herring, S. "Du Bois and the Minstrels." MELUS (Summer 1997) 22:
A scholarly essay addressing the writings of W.E.B. DuBois and his reflections
on the implications of minstrelsy's distortion of black culture.
Hogan, E. "All Coons Look Alike To Me." 1896.
A song with the first known use of "rag" as a musical term.
Recorded by Arthur Collins in the late 1890s
Holly, E. P. "Sam Lucas, 1840-1916: A bibliographic study. In Feel the
Spirit: studies in nineteenth-century Afro-American music. (G. R. Keck and
S. V. Martin: Westport, CT, Greenwood Publishing, 1988). 83 - 104.
Sam Milady, popularly known as Sam Lucas, was an important black entertainer
whose career spanned nearly 50 years and included performing in the major forms
of 19th- and early 20th-c. popular theater. Rosters of the various minstrel
troupes Lucas performed in and some excerpts accompany a chronological outline
of his life and career from minstrel programs in the Harvard Theater
Collection. (Hitchens, Susan Hayes - RILM_Music_Abstracts. Accession No.
Jamison, P. "The Cakewalk." Old Time Herald (1992-1993) 3(6): 13-16.
Kanter, K. A. The Jews on Tin Pan Alley: the Jewish contributions to
American Popular music, 1830-1940. New York, Cincinnati: Ktav Publishing House, 1982.
American Jewish Archives.
Keck, G. R. and S. V. Martin, Eds. Feel the Spirit: Studies in
Nineteenth-Century Afro-American Music. Contributions in Afro-American and
African Studies: no 119. Westport CT: Greenwood Publishing, 1988.
This volume consists of 11 major contributions by faculty members of smaller
American colleges and universities. Much of this information does not appear in
any previously published secondary literature. From the table of contents:
P. G. Lowery and His Musical Enterprises: The Formulative Years by Clifford
Sam Lucas, 1840-1916: A Bibliographic Study by Ellistine Perkins Holly
The Singing Tours of the Fisk Jubilee Singers: 1871-1874 by Louis D. Silveri
Black Male Concert Singers of the Nineteenth Century: A Bibliographic Study by
Ronald Henry High
Keyboard Music by Nineteenth-Century Afro-America Composers by Ann Sears
Promoting Black Music in Nineteenth-Century America: Some Aspects of Concert
Management in New York and Boston by George R. Keck
Nineteenth-Century Afro-American Music: A Bibliographical Guide to Sources for Research
by George R. Keck and Sherrill V. Martin
LaBrew, Arthur R. The Detroit History that Nobody Knew (or bothered to
remember) 1800-1900. Detroit: A. LaBrew, 2001.
Leonard, W. T. Masquerade in Black. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1986.
Leonard, S. M. "An introduction to black participation in the
early recording era, 1890-1920." Annual review of jazz studies (1988) 4:
The black commercial entertainment including minstrel shows, spiritual singing
and vaudeville were included in the early recording catalogues of Columbia, RCA
Victor and Edison.
Levy, E. "Ragtime and Race Pride: The Career of Janes Weldon Johnson."
Journal of Popular Culture (Spring 1968) 1(4): 357-70.
An essay discussing the period between 1900 and 1906, when Johnson lived in New
York and wrote lyrics for ragtime songs. In partnership with his brother
Rosamond Johnson and a friend Bob Cole, concentrated on various songs with
Lhamon, W. T. Raising Cain: Blackface Performance from Jim Crow to
Hip Hop. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1998.
Lott, E. Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American
Working Class. New York: Oxford UP, 1995.
Mackes, S. "Stephen Foster: early minstrel days." Mankind
(Los Angeles, CA) (1981) 6: 14-16+.
A short biographical essay about Stephen Foster (1826 - 1864) a
composer/lyricist whose career included several Negro minstrels tunes for which
he received great acclaim. The author suggests that Foster's songs are of two
general categories - plantation minstrel songs and soft sentimental ballads.
Mahar, W. J. Behind the burnt cork mask: Early blackface minstrelsy
and antebellum American popular culture. Urbana, IL: University of
Reassesses relationship between blackface comedy and other genres and
traditions of Western theater; between the music of minstrel shows and its
European sources, between blackface performance and socially constructed
identities and between popular and elite culture. (Weidow, Judy)
Matthews, B. "Rise and fall of negro minstrelsy." Scribner's
Magazine (1915) 57: 754-9.
The author supports the theory that the general neglect of the opportunities
for a more accurate presentation of negro characteristics led to the fall of
Murray, S. E. Anthologies of music: an annotated index. Warren,
MI: Harmonie Park Press, 1992.
Newman, R. "The brightest star: Aida Overton-Walker in the age of
ragtime and cakewalk." Prospects: An annual journal of American
cultural studies (1993) 18: 465-481.
A biographical account of Aida Overton-Walker, 1880-1914. An accomplished
dancer who appeared in vaudeville, and on Broadway. She was the wife of
comedian George Walker.
In 1901, Overton-Walker appeared in The Cannibal King, with music by Will
Marion Cook and Willis Accose and lyrics by J. Rosamond Johnson and Bob Cole.
The article also includes a discussion on the coon songs.
"The Origins of the Cake Walk." The Journal of Blacks in
Higher Education (April 2002) 35: 134.
A brief review of the complicated dance and its origins in southern slavery to
its popularity in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Peterson, B. L. Profiles of African American Stage Performers and
Theatre People, 1816-1960. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2000.
A directory of over 500 African American performers and theater people who have
made a significant contribution to the American stage from the second decade of
the 19th century to the beginning of the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
Among the professional artists included in this volume are performers,
librettists, lyricists, directors, producers, choreographers, stage managers,
and musicians. The individuals profiled represent almost every major category
and genre of the professional, semiprofessional, regional, and academic stage
including minstrelsy, vaudeville, musical theater, and drama. Persons of
historical significance are included as well as those stars and theatrical
personalities that were well known during their time but who are relatively
forgotten today. (Publisher's Review)
Pfeffer, M. L. Composers and Lyricists Database. [cited February 6, 2004].
Available from http://nfo.net/cal/ [archive].
Reublin, R. A. and R. L. Maine. "In Search of Coon Songs, Racial
Stereotypes in American Popular Song." Parlor Songs: Popular Sheet
Music from the 1800s to the 1920s (April 2000).
Riis, T. L. Just before jazz: Black musical theater in New York,
1890-1915. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institute, 1989.
African Americans took part in minstrel shows after 1850 and in all-black
vaudeville and comedy companies in the 1870's, but from 1890-1915 black
performers staged over 30 full-length musicals in black New York neighborhoods,
on Broadway and in cross county tours. The shows contained songs with
distinctive chromatic, syncopated melodies written by the classically trained
composers Will Marion Cook and J. Rosamond Johnson. Influenced by ragtime as
well as operetta, the songs were performed by star soloists and large choruses
in plays featuring the vaudeville teams of Bert Williams, George Walker, Bob
Cole and Billy Johnson, (Rils, Thomas L.)
Riis, T. L. More than just minstrel shows: The rise of black musical
theatre at the turn of the century. Brooklyn: Brooklyn College Institute
for Studies in American Music, 1992.
The author uses the songs of In Dahomey (1903) as examples of the different
meanings to black and white audiences. He discusses the musical theatre works
of Will Marion Cook and J. Rosamond Johnson
Riis, T. L. "Concert singers, prima donnas, and entertainers: The
changing status of black women vocalists in nineteenth-century America." In Music
and Culture in America, 1861-1918. edited by M. Saffle and J. R. Heintze. New York:
Garland Publishing, 1998. 387.
Roth, R. "The Ragtime Revival: A Critique." American
Quarterly (Winter 1950) 2(4): 329-339.
A critique of Mister Jelly Roll, a semi-autobiographical account of the
musician Jelly Roll Morton a.k.a Ferdinand La Menthe written by Alan Lomax and
published by Duell, Sloan & Pearce,
Ruotolo, C. L. "James Weldon Johnson and the Autobiography of an
Ex-Colored Musician." American Literature (2000) 72(2): 249-274.
Sampson, H. Blacks in Blackface. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1980.
Scott, H. "Du Bois and the Minstrels." MELUS (Summer 1997) 22:
Smith, E. L. "Early African American broadway performers Bert
Williams and George William Walker in "In Dahomey," 1903." Afro-Americans
in New York Life and History (1992) 16(2): 7-16.
In Dahomey was composed by Will Marion Cook and Paul Laurence Dunbar. The
production starred Bert Williams and George William Walker and opened in New
York in a Broadway theater in 1903.
Songwriters Hall of Fame. Harry Von Tilzer. [cited February 6, 2004].
Available from http://www.songwritershalloffame.org/exhibit_home_page.asp?exhibitId=246
Southall, G. H. Blind Tom. the Black Pianist-Composer: Continually
Enslaved. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2000.
Blind Tom was the stage name of Thomas Greene Wiggins, a blind black pianist
born into slavery in 1849. Noted by many musical authorities to be a musician
of amazing skill, expressive playing, and incredible memory, he was nonetheless
considered by his "admirers" still nearer to "animals" than
other human beings, and was exploited by a series of whites after the Civil War
for their own financial comfort.
In this focused, consequential study, Geneva Southall reformulates the debate
surrounding Blind Tom and expands its dimensions significantly. Southall asks
questions about the talents of black performers and musicians, the relationship
between black culture and economic prosperity, and the personal ability of
talented black musicians to weather the dual stigmatization of racism and (in
Blind Tom's case) physical disability to produce music not just worthy of
remembrance, but of importance to the tradition of American arts from which
they have been excluded. (Scarecrow Press- accessed 10/08/03)
Southern, E. The Music of Black Americans: A History. New York:
Studwell, W. E. "The obscure popular songwriter's hall of fame:
part 2, M-Z." Music Reference Services Quarterly (1996) 4(4):
Biography of Albert Von Tilzer (r.n. Albert Gumm)
Biography of Harry Von Tilzer (r.n. Harry Gumm)
Toll, R. Blacking Up: The Minstrel Show in Nineteenth-Century
America. New York: Oxford UP, 1974.
Toll, R. "Behind the Blackface." American Heritage (1978) 29:
Lhamon, W. T. "Core is Less." Reviews in American
History (1999) 27(4): 566-571.
A review of "Behind the Burnt Cork Mask: Early Blackface Minstrelsy and
Antebellum American Popular Culture by William J. Mahar
Winans, R. B. and E. J. Kaufman. "Minstrel and classic banjo:
American and English connections." American music: A quarterly journal
devoted to all aspects of American music and music in America (1994) 12(1): 1-30.
Follows the development of banjo traditions in black and white popular culture
through the minstrel shows and the introduction of the five-string banjo to
Wittke, C. Tambo and Bones: A History of the American Minstrel
Stage. Durham: Duke UP, 1930.
Woll, A. Black Musical Theatre: From Coontown to Dreamgirls.
Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989.
The initial chapter of Black Musical Theatre includes a historical review with
Clorindy, the Origin of the Cakewalk and A Trip to Coontown, in 1898. Chapter
2, The End of the Coon Songs, delivers a detailed account of the Johnson
brothers and Bob Cole. The author gives such issues as stereotyping and other
political issues a complete examination. The book includes many relevant
photographs and illustrations.
Young, K. "Cakewalk." Callaloo (2001) 24(4): 1210.