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The negro music and American. Negro music in America an exploration of it and its impact on American culture. Here is your host for the survey's Tony look and walk in the door and you see a movie so long the more she see or use live negroes who have been relatively isolated from modern ways and who are proud of their African heritage in the songs and dances of their ancestors their parents and grandparents who were slaves taught them the songs they still sing today in this age we live in it is hard to realize the importance of this music as it was sung in slavery days in those days of hard back breaking work and relieved by mechanical energy almost every task and every slow passing hour of working daylight was relieved by a song in a manner almost identical to the African customs. There were songs for the rice fields for rowing
lifting the nets heavy with fish log rolling and then religious songs of all times. Ellen Lomax recorded much of this music in the field in 1959 in 1960. The singers and musicians heard in these recordings are all working class people recognized by their communities for their great knowledge of the old old music. It's a great pleasure to bring to you this old and authentic American Negro music created by a magnificent people in the blending of their old African heritage and their new way of life in America. First we'll hear Bessie Jones and a group from same Simons Island sing a children's game song Johnny cuckoo. This is June spends her leisure time teaching children everything she knows about the old songs and dances. You. Know
I thought oh no. Plan. A leg. And Bowl. You told me.
You can do a lot. They. Told. Me I just got it done a long long long long long cold place. Would you.
Say. Oh yeah. We I mean you got me on that. Yeah oh yeah. Bessie's parents both were over 100 years old when they died in the 1940s. If they had learned songs they taught Bessie from their parents it's reasonable to assume that some of Bessie songs are well over 100 years old. Our next singer is Joe Armstrong who was in his 90s when these are recorded and he used to be one of the strongest men in the islands and has done every kind of hard labor imaginable during his life here Joe sings a work song that he used to sing loading sailing ships with lumber.
Pay me for this corner he ordered everything and you really are going to have everything that is through in this corner. So we want to sing a song to make it late for us. I'm not a doubt. In my mind. And hire the right man my. Man I'm not it down. And I'm not. A mind I need to. Know. That I am out and I need. You now not it. Good Road
near Marmont FOR ME DEAR AMY My murder you know me your good your prayer. No. No we hear Bessie Jones singing game song while Charlie Gascon slips out a syncopated rhythm on his chest and thought eyes the African habit of using anything and everything for a drum frustrated slave owners who tried to stamp out drumming among their slaves. The drums themselves did virtually disappear for a long time but the drumming on tables banjo heads and floors with hands or sticks and popping of the lips survived to become in jazz the heartbeat of the American Negro music. Bessie Jones sings hymn book. Ham bone on bone way. All around the world and back. Yeah I. Have for him. Let it go.
Just looses the. Hair on him Well what did you do. I had a thing that red and blue and it was a man to me that I'm here today. You know West won't name was Mr. Snake. Crawl over what and when they came and they slowed thing will miss the boat. Through all of whatever they could. Yeah. The next morning we'll miss the kid. He saw my friend in need and see. My. Joy Armstrong brings to us singing with a group from the wings. The song Good bye everybody. This is a remarkable recording from a man over 90 and an
ailing health. Who knew that he soon would in fact be leaving his friends. Good thing. I don't mind taking a good breath. Very. Good thing to. Do. It by. Being added to the dating. Scene at
that date. OK OK good. But I do remember when they brought me. Over here. Like they're not really known as a. Good runner and the bread was. Pretty good but they are doing. It by hand if you're.
A new grinder living OK. There may be a God of your. God. You know the next number you will hear is survival of the fife and drum band is Ed Young. And then drumming is a company Bessie Jones as she sings a religious song regular regular rolling under. He had young blade a homemade cane Fife while Ned played the bass drum. This fife and drum
combination was popular in revolutionary days. The negroes took to it very early next week we'll bring you a different kind of New Orleans music that you're accustomed to. They grow music in America with Tony look and Bach presented transcribed by the SEIU Radio Network. As again next week as we continue our exploration of the negro and American music. This program was distributed by national educational radio. This is national educational radio network.
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Negro music in America
Episode Number
Producing Organization
WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program, the ninth of thirty nine parts, presents various examples of African-American folk and jazz music.
Series Description
This series focuses on music created and performed by African-Americans, including folk, and jazz styles. This series is hosted by Anton Luckenbach of Carbondale, Illinois, who also gathered interviews in New Orleans for this series.
Broadcast Date
Race and Ethnicity
Media type
Host: Luckenbach, Anton
Producing Organization: WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-1-9 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:22
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Chicago: “Negro music in America; 9,” 1967-02-06, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 21, 2024,
MLA: “Negro music in America; 9.” 1967-02-06. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Negro music in America; 9. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from