Celebrating #BlackHistoryMonth with Exquisite Sounds

Last year I shared an image gallery of African-American legends and pioneers to celebrate Black History Month.  This year I thought I’d do something similar only with sound.

I guarantee that what you will hear below – a tiny collection of music-only radio shows from the 1940s (my favorite decade in all things entertainment) – is right up your alley.  Every single entry included here features at least one of the most talented persons to ever walk this Earth, people who should be remembered not because they’re part of black history, but because they’re part of all our history.  Enjoy!

Kicking things off from the grand Roseland Ballroom in New York City with Ella Fitzgerald and her Orchestra.  February 16, 1940

From October 9, 1942 Duke Ellington, Ethel Waters, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson and others on “Jubilee” for the armed forces:

The Count Basie Orchestra accompanies Ethel Waters in the 1943 wartime film Stage Door Canteen.
The Count Basie Orchestra accompanies Ethel Waters in the 1943 wartime film Stage Door Canteen.

 

“Jubilee” from October 27, 1942 with Dooley Wilson as Master of Ceremony, Lena Horne, Heavyweight Boxing Champ Joe Louis and more:

From February 14, 1944 it’s another “Jubilee” show. This time Nat King Cole, Cab Calloway and others entertain:

Nat King Cole and Cab Calloway in 1957
Nat King Cole and Cab Calloway in 1957

 

From the Avedon Ballroom in Downtown Los Angeles it’s Count Basie and his Orchestra

“Just Jazz” featuring Louis Armstrong and His All-Stars:

LA

I just had to add this special bonus, a must-watch (public domain) variety show from 1955.  Filmed at the Apollo Theater in New York it’s the Rhythm and Blues Revue:

 ♥

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