African Americans—famous and anonymous alike—have helped shape popular musical genres ranging from jazz and blues to rock ’n’ roll and rap. This book provides a vivid account of that process, beginning with the work songs and spirituals of slaves and continuing up to the present. African-American Musicians tells the stories of figures such as bluesman Robert Johnson, whose guitar playing was so extraordinary that people said he must have made a deal with the devil; jazz great Duke Ellington, considered one of America’s greatest composers and bandleaders; classical singer Marian Anderson, who struck a blow for civil rights with her music; Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop”; and many, many more.
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