Category: 1920s

Throwback: Happy Birthday, Louis Armstrong!

JOVM celebrates Louis Armstrong’s 120th birthday.

Throwback: Black History Month: Billie Holiday

Today is the eighth day of Black History Month. And if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few days of this month, you’d see that I’ve been featuring Black artists across a wide and eclectic array of genres and styles that I think can guide you towards understanding the Black experience.

Black culture is American culture
Black music is American music.
Black history is American history.
America’s greatest and beloved contributions to the world are Black music styles — the blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop.
Black art matters.
You can’t love black art and black artists without loving black people.
Black lives matter — all of them, all of the time.

Arguably one of the most expressive and haunting voices ever recorded, Billie Holiday’s vocals could express yearning, longing, heartbreak and despair within the turn of a single phase. Of course, it shouldn’t be surprising that most of her life was filled with tragedy and heartbreak — with the result being her tragic death at 44.

Throwback: Black History Month: Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Today is the first day of Black History Month. And throughout this month I’ll feature Black artists across a wide and eclectic array of genres and styles that I think can guide you towards understanding the Black experience. Throughout the month I hope that you’ll appreciate these facts:

Black culture is American culture — and Black music is American music.
America’s greatest and beloved contributions to the world are Black music styles — the blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop.
Black art matters.
Black lives matter — all of them, all of the time.

The first person that came to mind was the amazing Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Tharpe was the first major gospel star, who wound up presaging the rise of the electric blues. She saw crossover success with blues, R&B and rock audiences throughout her life and that shouldn’t be surprising, She’s also been considered the godmother of rock ‘n’ roll — with her work influencing the likes of Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and others. She’s that important and yet, she doesn’t always get her fair share of credit. Check out some oof the live footage I’ve come across. You’ll be convinced.