Olufela Sowande (Fela) Obafunmilayo (1905-1987)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Musician, composer, professor, and conductor Fela Sowande was born May 1905 in Abeokuta, Nigeria.   He was the son of Emmanuel Sowande, who was an Anglican priest and influential in the development of Nigerian sacred music.  Fela Sowande was a musician and … Read MoreOlufela Sowande (Fela) Obafunmilayo (1905-1987)

Black Swan Records (1921-1923)

Black Swan Records was the first black-owned recording company that sold popular music to black audiences. Black Swan Records specialized in jazz and blues recordings but it also became the first company to record black classical musicians. During its brief existence from 1921 and 1923, … Read MoreBlack Swan Records (1921-1923)

Kathleen Battle (1948- )

American soprano Kathleen Battle was born on August 13, 1948 in Portsmouth, Ohio. Battle’s father was a steelworker and her mother was an active participant in the gospel choir at the family’s local African Methodist Episcopal Church. Battle attended Portsmouth High School and upon graduation … Read MoreKathleen Battle (1948- )