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Black Artists, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders list, Blues, Influential Black Leaders -

“I've always felt that the blues deal with an epoch in our history, and coming from the same people that gave us the spiritual, they reflected a nominal freedom. All the blues that I've written are either historic or folklore or folksong.” —W.C. Handy W.C. Handy was born on November 16, 1873, in Florence, Alabama. He played with several bands and traveled throughout the Midwest and the South, learning about the African-American folk music that would become known as the blues. Handy later composed his own songs—including "St. Louis Blues," "Memphis Blues" and "Aunt Hagar's Blues"—which would help popularize the...

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Aretha Franklin, Black History, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Blues, Influential Black Leaders, Music -

Because hers is a title well-earned: The Queen of Soul  1942- Curtsies are absolutely appropriate. Aretha Franklinis undisputed when it comes to pouring gospel-inflected, bluesy wails of love-gone-wrong lyrics over country-fried–yet-pop tracks. She plucked her Pentecostal pipes from the pulpit and applied them to a secular sound, giving us Sunday morning righteousness on any given Saturday night. Fifty years ago, the daughter of popular Detroit Baptist minister C.L. Franklin scored a No. 1 hit with her remake of Otis Redding’s Respect, a song with a bit of a double entendre that helped soundtrack the civil rights movement. In 1967, when...

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