Spreadin' Rhythm Around : Black Popular Songwriters, 1880-1930 book cover
1st Edition

Spreadin' Rhythm Around
Black Popular Songwriters, 1880-1930

ISBN 9780415977043
Published September 30, 2005 by Routledge
464 Pages 83 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Spreadin' Rhythm Around: Black Popular Songwriters, 1880-1930 is a classic work on a little-studied subject in American music history: the contribution of African-American songwriters to the world of popular song. Hailed by Publishers Weekly as "thoroughly researched and entertainingly written," this work documents the careers of songwriters like James A. Bland ("Carry Me Back to Ole Virginny"), Bert Williams ("Nobody"), W. C. Handy ("St. Louis Blues"), Noble Sissle, Eubie Blake ("I'm Just Wild About Harry"), and many more. Richly illustrated with rare photographs from sheet music, newspapers, and other unique sources, the book documents an entire era of performance when black singers, dancers, and actors were active on the New York stage.

In sheer depth of research, new information, and full coverage, Spreadin' Rhythm Around offers a comprehensive picture of the contributions of black musicians to American popular song. For anyone interested in the history of jazz, pop song, or Broadway, this book will be a revelation.



Dave Jasen and Gene Jones are the authors of Black Bottom Stomp (Routledge, 2001) and That American Rag (1998). Well-known as authorities on jazz and blues, each is recognized as a leader in the field. On his own, Jasen authored for Routledge Tin Pan Alley7: An Encyclopedia (2003) and A Century of American Pop (2002). They live in New York City.


Spreadin' Rhythm Around: Black Popular Songwriters provides the definitive study on the contributino of African-American songwriters to popular song...A lively work of scholarship." --The Midwest Book Review