SIGNED 1944 AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSIC & CULTURAL ARCHIVE Black Composer W C HANDY. Rare first edition of W. Handy's paramount collection of African American Music and Culture, HAND SIGNED and dated by noted Black Composer and Blues Musician W. HANDY in ink on the ffep, William C.
UNSUNG AMERICANS SUNG Edited by W. Published by Handy Brothers Music Co. New York City [rubber stamped], 1944.First edition, First printing, with ASCAP imprint on title page. Hardbound in original dark blue textured cloth with gilt printing on the front cover, 11" x 7.5", 236 pages, illustrated with a photographic frontispiece portrait of Handy, two full page photographic illustrations, and eight full page illustrations of African Americans from sketches by Beauford De Laney, and musical scores. Also included is a typed sheet outlining the books provenance by the former owner. VERY GOOD CONDITION: a few droplet stains and light wear to the covers, internally, toning to the pastedown and a penned gift inscription from the former owner Kitty Dalton, a chorus girl for the impresario Billy Rose on the ffep, otherwise tight, bright, clean and unmarked.
Handy's important musical and cultural collection of song tributes to outstanding African Americans, explores the different dimensions of musical development that exist within Black culture, while also highlighting the struggle and triumph that exist for people of color. Bringing together nearly 40 songs and numerous literary works together in print for the first time, the collection features Handy's groundbreaking Memphis Blues, as well as numerous songs with music and arrangements by him, including his iconic spirituals. Throughout are tributes - in music, prose and poetry - to figures such as Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglass, Crispus Attucks, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Toussaint L'Ouverture, Harriet Tubman, and Phyllis Wheatley. Handy has included works with music or arrangements by James P.Jones, Joe Jordan, Lillian Evanti, Charles L. Cooke, Jean Stor, Luckey Roberts, Sidney Frederick Johnson, Eubie Blake, Chris Smith, Margaret Bonds and Daphne Lindsay. This seminal collection also notably contains lyrics from works by Langston Hughes, Andy Razaf, Henry Troy, L. Bullock, Omoo Aummen, Olive Lewis Handy, LaVerne Barner, James William Henderson, Walter Malone, Edwin Markham, J. Handy is an important Black Composer. He was one of the first to compose, play and publish a steady stream of African American music including blues, spiritual arrangements, marches, hymns, and miscellaneous songs. His collections include Blues: An Anthology (1941), and A Book of Negro Spirituals (1938). His books include: Negro Authors and Composers of the United States (1936), Father of the Blues (1941), and Unsung American Sung (1944).