Black History Month: Musicians

Written by: Amber Baldwin

Whether it is Black History Month or not, it is always important to recognize the works and accomplishments of Black people. Today, however, we are showcasing some great musicians.

Camille Lively, Director of Music Programs and Head of Choral and Vocal Studies here at DC, said, “I love Nina Simone and Moses Hogan.”

Here are some more Black musicians that are pretty neat.

Harriet Gibbs Marshall (1868-1941)
Harriet Gibbs Marshall, a pianist, spent most of her early life in Oberlin, Ohio. She even graduated from Oberlin College with a music degree. She was the first African American woman to graduate from that school with a music degree. She was also the first African American woman to graduate with a music degree in the United States. In 1903 she founded the Washington Conservatory of Music and School of Expression, where African Americans learn music. It was open until 1960, and it is the longest running music school for African Americans.

Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996)
Ella Fitzgerald, also known as “The First Lady of Song,” was a jazz singer who won 13 Grammy Awards and sold over 40 million albums. Her voice range was vast, so that she could sing a variety of different music types. Fitzgerald worked with many other jazz musicians like Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, and Nat King Cole. She also traveled all around the world doing concerts. By the end of her life, she had recorded over 200 albums, and her last concert was at Carnegie Hall. It was also her 26th time performing there.

Barry White (1944-2003)
Barry White is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. To be the best selling music artist, one has to sell over 75 million records, and he sold over 100 million. Some of his hits include “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” and “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe.” Because of his appearance and voice, he is known as “The Walrus of Love.” Barry White also won two Grammy Awards, is in the Dance Music Hall of Fame, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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