Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1890-1919

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University of Illinois Press, Feb 24, 2004 - Music - 634 pages
A groundbreaking history of African Americans in the early recording industry, Lost Sounds examines the first three decades of sound recording in the United States, charting the surprising roles black artists played in the period leading up to the Jazz Age and the remarkably wide range of black music and culture they preserved.

Drawing on more than thirty years of scholarship, Tim Brooks identifies key black recording artists and profiles forty audio pioneers. Brooks assesses the careers and recordings of George W. Johnson, Bert Williams, George Walker, Noble Sissle, Eubie Blake, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, W. C. Handy, James Reese Europe, Wilbur Sweatman, Harry T. Burleigh, Roland Hayes, Booker T. Washington, and boxing champion Jack Johnson, plus a host of lesser-known voices. Many of these pioneers struggled to be heard in an era of rampant discrimination. Their stories detail the forces––black and white––that gradually allowed African Americans to enter the mainstream entertainment industry.

Lost Sounds includes Brooks's selected discography of CD reissues and an appendix by Dick Spottswood describing early recordings by black artists in the Caribbean and South America.

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Lost sounds: Blacks and the birth of the recording industry, 1890-1919

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In this chronological narrative, Brooks (executive vice president of research, Lifetime Television) presents a wealth of information about the first African American recording artists. Starting in ... Read full review

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While sometimes ever so slightly confusing, the book was a great retrospective of many African-American pioneers of the music industry. Definitely a great book.

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About the author (2004)

Tim Brooks is Executive Vice President of Research at Lifetime Television. He is the author of Little Wonder Records: A History and Discography and other books, as well as past president of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections. Dick Spottswood is a freelance author, broadcaster, and record producer. He is the author of the seven-volume reference work, Ethnic Music on Records.

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