Stevland Hardaway Morris, best known as Stevie Wonder, is an African American singer, songwriter, and musician. Stevie was a child prodigy who turned out to be one of the most creative and influential musical figures of the late 20th century. One of Stevie’s greatest accomplishments is when he almost single handedly got congress to approve Martin Luther King’s birthday as a holiday. Wonder who's been unafraid to tackle social issues through his music, successfully spearhead a movement to create a national holiday recognizing Dr. Martin Luther King. Charles Edward Anderson Berry is an African American guitarist, singer and songwriter.
Bill Gutman is a jazz enthusiast that is passionate about the music of the late Duke Ellington. This gave him the desire to write the book “Duke” using a host of nostalgic pictures and first hand accounts of people that were close to the jazz great. Jazz music was quickly becoming a staple in 1920’s society in entertainment and Gutman argues that Ellington was an undeniable force in this period. He begins with the early history of Ellington in which he is born Edward Kennedy Ellington in April of 1899. Ellington didn’t have the average child hood for a young black child of that time period.
“The King of Swing: Benny Goodman and his Lasting Influences” Known as the “King of Swing”, Benny Goodman used his love of jazz and classical music to propel a career that spanned nearly six decades and drove jazz varieties to unprecedented levels of popularity. His influences on music included the introduction of the Swing Era, the propulsion of Bebop, and the commission of some of the greatest classical clarinet compositions of all time. Yet Goodman was more than a musician, and his desire to achieve perfection led him to break racial barriers in the music scene at a time when the nation was deeply divided by color. Born to a large, poverty stricken family in 1909, Benny Goodman first discovered the clarinet at age 10 (“Benny Goodman”, 2011). Two years later, while playing onstage at a small regional show, he caught the ear of bandleader Ben Pollack and was given a spot in Pollack’s band.
Berry Gordy was an American record producer and songwriter. His claim to fame was the establishment of the renowned Motown record label and its affiliates. Motown became one of the most eminent music companies in the history of the U.S. Berry Gordy was born on 28th November 1929 in Detroit, Michigan and was the seventh child in a middle class family of Berry Gordy Sr. Berry’s siblings were all educated citizens however Berry wanted to become very rich very quickly so decided to drop out of school and become a professional boxer. He got interested in music by writing songs and soon opened the 3D Record Mart which was a store that featured jazz music. Unfortunately this venture was not successful.
Count Basie Biography: Born William James Basie Occupation: Songwriter, Pianist Birth Date: August 21, 1904 Death Date: April 12, 1984 (Age 79) Place of Birth: Red Bank, New Jersey Place of Death: Hollywood, Florida Genres: Jazz, Swing, Big Band, Piano Blues Career: • As a young man he studied piano with his mother, and shortly after he went to New York, where he met James P. Johnson, Fats Waller (who he informally studied with), and another pianist of the Harlem stride school. • Before he was 20 years old, he toured for a while on the Keith and TOBA vaudeville circuits as a solo pianist, accompanist, and music director for blues singers, dancers, and comedians. This gave him experience and training that was important in his later career. • When he was in Kansas City in 1927 while with a touring group, he remained there, playing in silent-film theaters. • In July 1928, he joined Walter Page's Blue Devils which, in addition to Page, included Jimmy Rushing; both later featured in Basie's own band.
“Maple Leaf Rag” was composed by Scott Joplin in 1899, and is one of the most famous of all ragtime pieces. Of Joplin’s early works, this early ragtime composition became the first instrumental piece to sell over one million copies of sheet music. In addition to sheet music, this song was made popular with dance bands and brass bands throughout the years. This composition is a multi-strain ragtime march with athletic bas lines and ragged but upbeat melodies. The song originally was played in the key of A-flat major utilizing the form of AABBACCDD by using a classic piano rag containing three or four 16-measure musical melodies.
As the article history timeline states he appeared in his first movie called Ex-Flame. He still continued with his musical career after becoming an actor, and then five years later he appeared in another film called “Pennies from Heaven” with Bing Crosby. The article called Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong then stated that he was the first African-American to host a sponsored national radio broadcast. Then in 1943, he made the movie “Cabin in the Sky” and “The Five Pennies” starring Danny Kaye. “The Five Pennies” was the first movie he ever composed, making him a hit sensation as an actor and
He was soon promoted to DJ, and became known as the Beale Street Blues Boy, later changed to "Blues Boy King" and shortened to B.B. King. B.B. did his first recordings in 1949, and the recording label was Modern Records, he agreed to terms of a ten year contract, and in 1949 put out six records alone. In a nightclub that B.B.
Dick Clark Dick Clark brought people all over the world together through their love of music. He hosted the show American Bandstand, a television show aimed towards teenagers full of dancing and singing, for thirty-two years. Clark produced many shows like the American Music Awards and the 10,000-dollar pyramid. But he was most known for his annual television special, Dick Clarks Rockin’ New Years Eve, which he hosted for over three decades. Dick Clark was a hero because he changed the way people looked at music, and even the way people looked at other people, he tried to understand the teenage audience, and influenced many peoples lives for the better.
Duke Ellington is a composer that was known for his originality and liveliness. He was considered amongst the worlds greatest composers and musicians. He played for the royalty and for the common people and by the end of his 50-year career, he had played over 20,000 performances worldwide. When he passed away he influenced many musicians and composers to follow in his footsteps. Duke changed the music world completely and how we look at it today.