Hosted by the Archives of African American Music & Culture at Indiana University, Black Grooves is a review site that aims to promote black music by providing monthly updates on interesting new releases and quality reissues in all genres—gospel, blues, jazz, funk, soul, and hip hop, as well as classical music composed or performed by black artists.
Reviews of selected new discs and DVDs are featured, with occasional attention to books and news items. An extra effort is made to track down releases by indie, underground, foreign, and other labels that are not covered in the mainstream media. While the primary focus is on African American music, related areas such as Afropop and reggae are also covered.
This post is part of our series celebrating Black History Month. Throughout February we will be posting about resources and landmark writings in black studies. Click here for a continuously updated page of links to all of our posts in this category.
An installment in the Library of Congress’s American memory series, “Now what a time”: Blues, gospel, and the Fort Valley Music Festivals, 1938–1943 presents approximately 100 sound recordings—primarily African American blues and gospel songs—and related documentation from the folk festival at Fort Valley State College (now Fort Valley State University), Fort Valley, Georgia, in 1941 and 1943.
Song lists made by the collectors, correspondence with the Archive about the trips, and a special issue of the Fort Valley State College student newsletter, The Peachite: Festival number, are also included. Notable in this collection is the topical rewording of several standard gospel songs to address the wartime concerns of the performers.
Also included are recordings made in Tennessee and Alabama (including six Sacred Harp songs) by John Work between September 1938 and 1941. These recording projects were supported by the Library of Congress’s Archive of American Folk Song (now the Archive of Folk Culture at the American Folklife Center).
War song, performed by Buster Brown in March 1943, can be heard here.
This post is part of our series celebrating Black History Month. Throughout February we will be posting about resources and landmark writings in black studies. Click here or on the Black studies category on the right to see a continuously updated page of links to all of our posts in this category.
Folkstreams is an archive of hard-to-find documentary films about traditional cultures that gives them new life by streaming them on the Internet. Founded in 2002 by the filmmakers Tom and Mimi Davenport, the idea grew out of “our love of filmmaking, a respect for the traditional culture of ordinary Americans, and a desire to get our work to the general public.”
Partnering with Ibiblio, the School of Information and Library Science, and the Southern Folklife Collection, all based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Folkstreams preserves and disseminates priceless historical documents, including many whose subjects are music and dance.
Above, the Landis family of Granville County, North Carolina, sings “Jezebel” in A singing stream: A black family chronicle (Tom Davenport, 1986).
Related post: Pete Seeger, filmmaker