From Bertram Lyons: "...Did unknown individuals make attempts to capture the
sounds of slaves previously to the 1930s?..."
There obviously had been no slaves for decades when the phonograph was
invented so it really comes down to how one chooses to define "the sounds of
slaves." Early recordings were generally a commercial venture and it can be
argued that most of what was recorded in the southeastern US is the music of
students of former slaves and their children. There are answers at Fisk and
the other traditionally black colleges and universities in the southeast
that go beyond minstrel show stereotypes. I would hope that unprejudiced
research happens sooner rather than later because many of the people who
know the story handed down from their parents and grandparents are
approaching the end of their life.
I'm very offended that I've only begun to learn the real story of African
American music at age 61 because of the pervasive racism found in most of
the literature I've encountered about American music. I'm sorry if pointing
this out steps on toes but to say nothing only perpetuates racial
stereotypes and disenfranchises all Americans from arguably our most
significant cultural accomplishment.
Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!