Albright, D. A. "If not forgotten then misunderstood: The African-American traveling minstrel show." Living blues: A journal of the black American blues tradition. (Mar-Apr 1993) 24(2): 36-41.
The black minstrel shows of early-20th-century America were major influences on how Americans were-and still are-entertained. They offered blacks rare opportunities for travel and employment outside menial tasks. They also offered stardom of a limited sort, and, to certain extent, wealth. (Torres, George)

American Popular Music: Readings from the Popular Press, Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1989.

Anderson, L. M. "From blackface to 'genuine Negroes': nineteenth-century minstrelsy and the icon of the 'Negro'". Theatre Research (Spring 1996) 21: 17-23.
The author presents an exploration of the minstrel popularity of the 19th century and the audience’s perception of the black slaves.

Badger, R. A Life in Ragtime: a biography of James Reese Europe. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
James Reese Europe was a pivotal composer-conductor who helped jazz's evolution away from ragtime--a significant-enough accomplishment, especially considering Reese's relatively short life (he was murdered at 39 in 1919). But Badger's engrossing biography proves that Europe was an American hero both in front of and far away from an orchestra. Badger's analyses of Europe's compositions are well informed and suitably augmented with commentary from such notable collaborators as Eubie Blake. Badger shows, too, that Europe helped restyle modern dance through his collaborations with Vernon and Irene Castle; and he includes chapters on the Clef Club, one of the earliest African American musicians' unions, which Europe helped create. Europe's career took an incredible turn during World War I, an episode Badger carefully details: while the triumphs of the all-black 369th Infantry Regiment are legendary, few know that Europe was the first African American officer to lead troops in combat during the war. A Life in Ragtime is one of the most important works of jazz scholarship to emerge in quite some time. (Aaron Cohen-Booklist- (December 1, 1994))

Bastin, B. "Black music in North Carolina". North Carolina Folklore (1979) 27: 2-19.

Bean, A., J. V. Hatch, et al., Eds. Inside the Minstrel Mask: Readings in Nineteenth-Century Blackface Minstrelsy. Hanover, NH : Wesleyan University Press, 1996.

Berlin, E. King of Ragtime. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Blair, J. G. "Blackface Minstrels in Cross-Cultural Perspective". American Studies International (1990) 28(2): 52-65.

Bostick, N. and A. LaBrew. "Harry P. Guy and the Ragtime Era of Detroit". The Rag-Time Ephemeralist. [cited February 6, 2004]. Available from http://home.earthlink.net/~ephemeralist/guy01.html [archive].
Short biography of this gifted music arranger

Brown, T. A. A history of the New York stage from the first performance in 1732 to 1901. New York: Dodd, Mead and company, 1903.

Brown, J. "The 'coon singer' and the 'coon song': A case study of the performer-character." Journal of American Culture (Spring-Summer 1984) VII: 1-8.
The terms coon singer and coon song were used first by composers and performers in the ragtime era. The coon character drew heavily on the minstrel tradition: wearing blackface, both black and white performers combined racially offensive lyrics with syncopated music from black-American culture. Sophie Tucker and Bert Williams both achieved early success as coon singers. ( Anna J. Horton- RILM_Music_Abstracts)

Burkholder, E. V. "America's forgotten minstrel". Coronet (1960) 49: 193-6.
A biographical essay about James A. Bland ( 1854 - 1911), composer of the song "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny."
Faced with racial discrimination, Bland left the U.S. to live in England where he was a star performer. He continued to compose many hits such as "Oh, Dem Golden Slippers" and "In the Evening By the Moonlight".

Carter, M. G. "The Life and Music of Will Marion Cook". In Music (Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois, 1988). 651.

Carter, M. G. "The 'New Negro' Legacy of Will Marion Cook". Afro-Americans in New York Life and History (1999) 23(1): 25-.

Carter, U. "Black American Music: From jazz to hip-hop." New Pittsburgh Courier, 1 Feb 2003.
Short descriptions of Black American music including Black minstrels and ragtime.

Cockrell, D. Demons of Disorder: early blackface minstrels and their world. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
A study of blackface minstrels in the first half of the nineteenth century. Dale Cockrell examines issues of race and class in relation to the early 19th century blackface minstrelsy trend. He uses a variety of songs including Jim Crow and Zip Coon to investigate the roots of this particular style of entertainment. (Review-Books in Print)

Cook, W. M. (1971). "Clorindy, the Origin of the Cakewalk". In Readings in Black American Music, (New York: W. W. Norton, 1971).
Reprinted from Theater Arts, (September): 61-65, 1947

Curry, A. (2002). "Men in blackface". U.S. News & World Report (2002) 133: 24, 26.
A short article addressing the influence of the minstrel craze.

Davidson, F. C. (1952). "The Rise, Development, Decline and Influence of the American Minstrel Show". Speech-Theater (New York: New York University, 1952.) 276.

Day, C. H. and T. A. Brown. Fun in black; or, Sketches of minstrel life. New York: R M De Witt, 1874.

DeFrantz, T. (2000). "Demons of Disorder." TDR (2000) 44(3): 183-188.
Article includes reviews of "Demons of Disorder: Early Blackface Minstrels and Their World" by Dale Cockrell and "Inside the Minstrel Mask: Readings in Nineteenth-Century Blackface Minstrelsy" edited by Annemarie Bean, James V. Hatch and Brooks McNamara.

Dennison, S. Scandalize my name: Black imagery in American popular music. New York: Garland Publishing, 1982.
Although the source’s content is valid when it was written, the early date of publishing makes it somewhat obsolete. There have been many changes in today’s black imagery in current popular music. However, it is interesting to read the earlier ideas on the subject.

DuBois, W. E. B. "Chapter XIV - The Sorrow Songs." The Souls of Black Folk (1903).

Dunson, S. (2002). "The Minstrel in the Parlor: Nineteenth-Century Sheet Music and the Domestication of Blackface Minstrelsy." ATQ (2002) 16(4): 241 - 256.
A scholarly article discussing the parallel but distinct development of sheet music as a blackface medium in the home. Includes illustrations.

Epstein, D. J. P. Sinful tunes and spirituals: Black folk music to the Civil War. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1977.

Finson, J. W. The voices that are gone: themes in nineteenth-century American popular song. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Fletcher, T. 100 Years of the Negro in Show Business. New York: Burdge & Company, 1954.

Fredrickson, G. M. The Black image in the white mind: the debate on Afro-American character and destiny, 1817-1914. New York: Harper & Row, 1971.

Gracyk, T. Music That Americans Loved 100 Years Ago --Tin Pan Alley, Broadway Show Tunes, Ragtime (and Related "Coon Songs"), and Sousa Marches. [cited February 6, 2003]. Available from http://www.garlic.com/~tgracyk/century.htm [archive].

Gracyk, T. Popular American Recording Pioneers, 1895-1925. New York: Haworth Press, 2000.

Green, A. W. C. "'Jim Crow' 'Zip Coon': The Northern Origins of Negro Minstrelsy." Massachusetts Review: A Quarterly of Literature, the Arts and Public Affairs (1970) 11: 385-97.

Gura, P. F. "America's minstrel daze." The New England Quarterly (1999) 72(4): 602-617.
Author reviews "Behind the Burnt Cork Mask: Early Blackface Minstrelsy and Antebellum American Culture" by William Mahar, "Demons of Disorder: Early Blackface Minstrels and Their World by Dale Cockrell, "Raising Cane: Blackface Performance from Jim Crow to Hip-Hop" by W. T. Lhamon .

Guy, H. P. Echoes from the Snowball Club: ragtime waltz. Detroit: Willard Bryant, 1898.

Herring, S. "Du Bois and the Minstrels." MELUS (Summer 1997) 22: 3-17.
A scholarly essay addressing the writings of W.E.B. DuBois and his reflections on the implications of minstrelsy's distortion of black culture.

Hogan, E. "All Coons Look Alike To Me." 1896.
A song with the first known use of "rag" as a musical term.
Recorded by Arthur Collins in the late 1890s

Holly, E. P. "Sam Lucas, 1840-1916: A bibliographic study. In Feel the Spirit: studies in nineteenth-century Afro-American music. (G. R. Keck and S. V. Martin: Westport, CT, Greenwood Publishing, 1988). 83 - 104.
Sam Milady, popularly known as Sam Lucas, was an important black entertainer whose career spanned nearly 50 years and included performing in the major forms of 19th- and early 20th-c. popular theater. Rosters of the various minstrel troupes Lucas performed in and some excerpts accompany a chronological outline of his life and career from minstrel programs in the Harvard Theater Collection. (Hitchens, Susan Hayes - RILM_Music_Abstracts. Accession No. 89-06927-ap)

Jamison, P. "The Cakewalk." Old Time Herald (1992-1993) 3(6): 13-16.

Kanter, K. A. The Jews on Tin Pan Alley: the Jewish contributions to American Popular music, 1830-1940. New York, Cincinnati: Ktav Publishing House, 1982.
American Jewish Archives.

Keck, G. R. and S. V. Martin, Eds. Feel the Spirit: Studies in Nineteenth-Century Afro-American Music. Contributions in Afro-American and African Studies: no 119. Westport CT: Greenwood Publishing, 1988.
This volume consists of 11 major contributions by faculty members of smaller American colleges and universities. Much of this information does not appear in any previously published secondary literature. From the table of contents:
P. G. Lowery and His Musical Enterprises: The Formulative Years by Clifford Edward Watkins
Sam Lucas, 1840-1916: A Bibliographic Study by Ellistine Perkins Holly
The Singing Tours of the Fisk Jubilee Singers: 1871-1874 by Louis D. Silveri
Black Male Concert Singers of the Nineteenth Century: A Bibliographic Study by Ronald Henry High
Keyboard Music by Nineteenth-Century Afro-America Composers by Ann Sears
Promoting Black Music in Nineteenth-Century America: Some Aspects of Concert Management in New York and Boston by George R. Keck
Nineteenth-Century Afro-American Music: A Bibliographical Guide to Sources for Research by George R. Keck and Sherrill V. Martin

LaBrew, Arthur R. The Detroit History that Nobody Knew (or bothered to remember) 1800-1900. Detroit: A. LaBrew, 2001.

Leonard, W. T. Masquerade in Black. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1986.

Leonard, S. M. "An introduction to black participation in the early recording era, 1890-1920." Annual review of jazz studies (1988) 4: 31-44.
The black commercial entertainment including minstrel shows, spiritual singing and vaudeville were included in the early recording catalogues of Columbia, RCA Victor and Edison.

Levy, E. "Ragtime and Race Pride: The Career of Janes Weldon Johnson." Journal of Popular Culture (Spring 1968) 1(4): 357-70.
An essay discussing the period between 1900 and 1906, when Johnson lived in New York and wrote lyrics for ragtime songs. In partnership with his brother Rosamond Johnson and a friend Bob Cole, concentrated on various songs with Negro themes.

Lhamon, W. T. Raising Cain: Blackface Performance from Jim Crow to Hip Hop. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1998.

Lott, E. Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class. New York: Oxford UP, 1995.

Mackes, S. "Stephen Foster: early minstrel days." Mankind (Los Angeles, CA) (1981) 6: 14-16+.
A short biographical essay about Stephen Foster (1826 - 1864) a composer/lyricist whose career included several Negro minstrels tunes for which he received great acclaim. The author suggests that Foster's songs are of two general categories - plantation minstrel songs and soft sentimental ballads.

Mahar, W. J. Behind the burnt cork mask: Early blackface minstrelsy and antebellum American popular culture. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois, 1999.
Reassesses relationship between blackface comedy and other genres and traditions of Western theater; between the music of minstrel shows and its European sources, between blackface performance and socially constructed identities and between popular and elite culture. (Weidow, Judy)

Matthews, B. "Rise and fall of negro minstrelsy." Scribner's Magazine (1915) 57: 754-9.
The author supports the theory that the general neglect of the opportunities for a more accurate presentation of negro characteristics led to the fall of negro minstrelsy

Murray, S. E. Anthologies of music: an annotated index. Warren, MI: Harmonie Park Press, 1992.

Newman, R. "The brightest star: Aida Overton-Walker in the age of ragtime and cakewalk." Prospects: An annual journal of American cultural studies (1993) 18: 465-481.
A biographical account of Aida Overton-Walker, 1880-1914. An accomplished dancer who appeared in vaudeville, and on Broadway. She was the wife of comedian George Walker.
In 1901, Overton-Walker appeared in The Cannibal King, with music by Will Marion Cook and Willis Accose and lyrics by J. Rosamond Johnson and Bob Cole. The article also includes a discussion on the coon songs.

"The Origins of the Cake Walk." The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (April 2002) 35: 134.
A brief review of the complicated dance and its origins in southern slavery to its popularity in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Peterson, B. L. Profiles of African American Stage Performers and Theatre People, 1816-1960. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2000.
A directory of over 500 African American performers and theater people who have made a significant contribution to the American stage from the second decade of the 19th century to the beginning of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Among the professional artists included in this volume are performers, librettists, lyricists, directors, producers, choreographers, stage managers, and musicians. The individuals profiled represent almost every major category and genre of the professional, semiprofessional, regional, and academic stage including minstrelsy, vaudeville, musical theater, and drama. Persons of historical significance are included as well as those stars and theatrical personalities that were well known during their time but who are relatively forgotten today. (Publisher's Review)

Pfeffer, M. L. Composers and Lyricists Database. [cited February 6, 2004]. Available from http://nfo.net/cal/ [archive].

Reublin, R. A. and R. L. Maine. "In Search of Coon Songs, Racial Stereotypes in American Popular Song." Parlor Songs: Popular Sheet Music from the 1800s to the 1920s (April 2000).

Riis, T. L. Just before jazz: Black musical theater in New York, 1890-1915. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institute, 1989.
African Americans took part in minstrel shows after 1850 and in all-black vaudeville and comedy companies in the 1870's, but from 1890-1915 black performers staged over 30 full-length musicals in black New York neighborhoods, on Broadway and in cross county tours. The shows contained songs with distinctive chromatic, syncopated melodies written by the classically trained composers Will Marion Cook and J. Rosamond Johnson. Influenced by ragtime as well as operetta, the songs were performed by star soloists and large choruses in plays featuring the vaudeville teams of Bert Williams, George Walker, Bob Cole and Billy Johnson, (Rils, Thomas L.)

Riis, T. L. More than just minstrel shows: The rise of black musical theatre at the turn of the century. Brooklyn: Brooklyn College Institute for Studies in American Music, 1992.
The author uses the songs of In Dahomey (1903) as examples of the different meanings to black and white audiences. He discusses the musical theatre works of Will Marion Cook and J. Rosamond Johnson

Riis, T. L. "Concert singers, prima donnas, and entertainers: The changing status of black women vocalists in nineteenth-century America." In Music and Culture in America, 1861-1918. edited by M. Saffle and J. R. Heintze. New York: Garland Publishing, 1998. 387.

Roth, R. "The Ragtime Revival: A Critique." American Quarterly (Winter 1950) 2(4): 329-339.
A critique of Mister Jelly Roll, a semi-autobiographical account of the musician Jelly Roll Morton a.k.a Ferdinand La Menthe written by Alan Lomax and published by Duell, Sloan & Pearce,

Ruotolo, C. L. "James Weldon Johnson and the Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Musician." American Literature (2000) 72(2): 249-274.

Sampson, H. Blacks in Blackface. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1980.

Scott, H. "Du Bois and the Minstrels." MELUS (Summer 1997) 22: 3-17.

Smith, E. L. "Early African American broadway performers Bert Williams and George William Walker in "In Dahomey," 1903." Afro-Americans in New York Life and History (1992) 16(2): 7-16.
In Dahomey was composed by Will Marion Cook and Paul Laurence Dunbar. The production starred Bert Williams and George William Walker and opened in New York in a Broadway theater in 1903.

Songwriters Hall of Fame. Harry Von Tilzer. [cited February 6, 2004]. Available from http://www.songwritershalloffame.org/exhibit_home_page.asp?exhibitId=246

Southall, G. H. Blind Tom. the Black Pianist-Composer: Continually Enslaved. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2000.
Blind Tom was the stage name of Thomas Greene Wiggins, a blind black pianist born into slavery in 1849. Noted by many musical authorities to be a musician of amazing skill, expressive playing, and incredible memory, he was nonetheless considered by his "admirers" still nearer to "animals" than other human beings, and was exploited by a series of whites after the Civil War for their own financial comfort.
In this focused, consequential study, Geneva Southall reformulates the debate surrounding Blind Tom and expands its dimensions significantly. Southall asks questions about the talents of black performers and musicians, the relationship between black culture and economic prosperity, and the personal ability of talented black musicians to weather the dual stigmatization of racism and (in Blind Tom's case) physical disability to produce music not just worthy of remembrance, but of importance to the tradition of American arts from which they have been excluded. (Scarecrow Press- accessed 10/08/03)

Southern, E. The Music of Black Americans: A History. New York: Norton, 1971.

Studwell, W. E. "The obscure popular songwriter's hall of fame: part 2, M-Z." Music Reference Services Quarterly (1996) 4(4): 11.
Biography of Albert Von Tilzer (r.n. Albert Gumm)
Biography of Harry Von Tilzer (r.n. Harry Gumm)

Toll, R. Blacking Up: The Minstrel Show in Nineteenth-Century America. New York: Oxford UP, 1974.

Toll, R. "Behind the Blackface." American Heritage (1978) 29: 92-105.

Lhamon, W. T. "Core is Less." Reviews in American History (1999) 27(4): 566-571.
A review of "Behind the Burnt Cork Mask: Early Blackface Minstrelsy and Antebellum American Popular Culture by William J. Mahar

Winans, R. B. and E. J. Kaufman. "Minstrel and classic banjo: American and English connections." American music: A quarterly journal devoted to all aspects of American music and music in America (1994) 12(1): 1-30.
Follows the development of banjo traditions in black and white popular culture through the minstrel shows and the introduction of the five-string banjo to England

Wittke, C. Tambo and Bones: A History of the American Minstrel Stage. Durham: Duke UP, 1930.

Woll, A. Black Musical Theatre: From Coontown to Dreamgirls. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989.
The initial chapter of Black Musical Theatre includes a historical review with Clorindy, the Origin of the Cakewalk and A Trip to Coontown, in 1898. Chapter 2, The End of the Coon Songs, delivers a detailed account of the Johnson brothers and Bob Cole. The author gives such issues as stereotyping and other political issues a complete examination. The book includes many relevant photographs and illustrations.

Young, K. "Cakewalk." Callaloo (2001) 24(4): 1210.

Detroit Public Library   |   The E. Azalia Hackley Collection   |   Detroit Area Library Network

Detroit Public Library The E. Azalia Hackley Collection Detroit Area Library Network