2009 Black History Month Specials

Friday evenings from 9pm-10pm in February.

February 6

Jazz Profiles – Al Hibbler: Unchained Melodist: Jazz Profiles from NPR
A rich, supple baritone, Hibbler brought many of Duke Ellington’s most popular ballads to life during an eight-year stint with the orchestra. He went on to a long and successful solo career, becoming the country’s first prominent blind performer.

February 13

Paris Noir: Part of the Night Lights Classic Jazz series
One-hour program of classic jazz focusing on African American jazz musicians in France after World War II.

In the years following World War II, a number of African-American jazz musicians took up residence in France, inspired by the relative lack of racism, the working opportunities, and the appreciation that French audiences showed for their art.

Jazz greats such as Dexter Gordon, Bud Powell, Kenny Clarke, and Don Byas spent long periods of time on the European continent and made many recordings there; we’ll hear from them as well as trumpeter Bill Coleman, tenor saxophonist Lucky Thompson, avant-garde group the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and more.

February 20

Jazz Profiles – Milt Hinton: The Ultimate Timekeeper: Jazz Profiles from NPR

February 27

Lady Writes the Blues: The Rose Marie McCoy Story
Born in 1922, Rose Marie McCoy grew up in a tin shack in rural Arkansas. By the 1960’s she had become one of the most prolific songwriters of her generation. McCoy’s songs have been recorded by Nat King Cole, Elvis Presley, Dizzy Gillespie, Ike & Tina Turner, Big Maybelle, Ruth Brown, James Brown, Bette Midler, Sarah Vaughn, Johnny Mathis, and Aretha Franklin. McCoy’s success was even more remarkable in an era when blacks and women were largely excluded from the business side of the music industry. But despite publishing over 850 songs, McCoy remains largely unknown.

Featuring interviews with performers Maxine Brown, Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Scott, Rose Marie McCoy, along with previously unreleased songs and a rare recording of McCoy performing in her final concert at the age of 86.