What's wrong with this picture? Well, if you ask authors David A. Jasen and Gene Jones, it's colorless. What about Bob Cole & J. Rosamond Johnson, who penned The Red Moon and The Shoo-Fly Regiment? And Will Marion Cook, who wrote Clorindy? Not to mention Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake (Shuffle Along)?
These and other under-sung talents of musical theatre are explored in Jasen & Jones' new book, Spreadin' Rhythm Around: Black Popular Songwriters, 1880-1930, published this month by Schirmer Books. Jasen is head of the CW Post College Popular Music Archive; Jones is an actor and sheet music historian.
The book also covers such legends as actor Bert Williams (who appeared in eight Ziegfeld productions), composer Fats Waller, and band leader W.C. Handy.
-- By David Lefkowitz