Maceo Pinkard (1897-1962)

Maceo Pinkard was born on June 27, 1897 in Bluefield, West Virginia. He was an American lyricist and music composer that emerged from the Harlem Renaissance. Some of his best known works include “Sweet Georgia Brown,” now the Harlem Globetrotters theme song, and the Broadway musical, Liza. After his death … Read MoreMaceo Pinkard (1897-1962)

James Price Johnson (1894-1955)

Mostly known as the “Father of the Stride Piano,” James Johnson transformed music during the Harlem Renaissance.  With his form of composition and performance style, he altered ragtime into a more ambitious musical presentation which incorporated elements of early jazz. Over his lifetime, Johnson would record over 400 … Read MoreJames Price Johnson (1894-1955)

Carrie Burton Overton (1888-1975)

Carrie Burton with University of Wyoming Classmates, ca. 1904 Image Ownership: Public domain Carrie Burton is best known as the first African American to attend the University of Wyoming.  Her parents—mother Katie Burton and stepfather Tom Price—were both born into slavery, but Katie moved to Wyoming … Read MoreCarrie Burton Overton (1888-1975)

Harry Lawrence Freeman (1869-1954)

Composer, performer, musical critic/essayist, advocate, and teacher H. Lawrence Freeman was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1869 to Lemuel Freeman and Agnes Sims-Freeman.  Initially self-taught, Freeman’s musical abilities were apparent at a young age. At 12, he started and performed in a boy’s vocal quartet.  … Read MoreHarry Lawrence Freeman (1869-1954)

John Wesley Work III (1901-1967)

John Wesley Work III, internationally acclaimed composer, educator, choral director, and ethnomusicologist, was born in 1901 in Tullahoma, Tennessee to musicians John Work, Jr., and Agnes Haynes.  Both of Work’s parents were employed at Fisk University, his father as a professor of music and his mother … Read MoreJohn Wesley Work III (1901-1967)