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Title:From Greenfield to Warfield: A survey of African-American concert singers
Author(s):Nettles, Darryl Glenn
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hill, John W.
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
History, Black
Abstract:My father, Henry L. Nettles, is the possessor of a deep, rich bass voice. If given the chance he would have dedicated his life to the world of song. To a certain extent he has. However, he never achieved the acclaim and just rewards a person with his talent truly deserves. To whom do you turn to when you are a teenaged African-American in Hartsville, South Carolina, during the Second World War, seeking a career as a concert singer? Are Marian Anderson, Roland Hayes, and Paul Robeson the only African-Americans involved in concert singing? Were they the first people of color to strive for success in this field? If not, who came before them? Are opportunities available in Europe for people of color as singers? I've no doubt that these and many additional questions plagued my father while he pursued his ambition. They certainly plagued my mind. This work will hopefully shed some light on some of these questions and perhaps, by increasing our awareness, assist in awakening humankind to the true meaning of the arts, a reflection of ourselves.
With the help of articles, reviews, programs, biographical sources, and interviews, I offer a survey of some of the unknown heroes and heroines who paved the way for the post-1950 African-American vocal artist.
Numerous issues of magazines and newspapers current to the period of my research were scanned. My primary focus concerned periodicals with a pre-dominantly African-American perspective, such as the New York Amsterdam News, The Chicago Defender, and The New York Age. These were the news media most likely to cover the achievements of African-Americans during the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
My interview with William Warfield serves as an exciting and informative addition to this project. As an African-American concert singer who knows or knew many of the subjects of my research, he offers valuable insight into the world of concert singing in America for the minority and helps to shed light on those individuals whose names are scarcely remembered today.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Nettles, Darryl Glenn
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9624448
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9624448

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