Celebrate African American Musicians!

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Let’s keep the Black History Month celebration going! Today we decided to focus on the many African Americans who have influenced music throughout history. The list of musicians goes on and on so we’re going to highlight just a few of the books we have in our collection that offer broad overviews on various genres and the notable individuals who contributed to their musical success. Don’t be afraid to search for books on specific artists you enjoy – we have all kinds of things upstairs in our book collection; not to mention the vast amount of information you can find in our databases 😉

The Chitlin Circuit

The Chitlin’ Circuit: And the Road to Rock ‘N’ Roll
by Preston Lauterbach
ML 3508 .L39 2011


Digging: The Afro-American Soul of American Classical Music
by Amiri Baraka
ML 3556 .B1612 2009

This is Our Music

This is Our Music: Free Jazz, the Sixties, and American Culture
by Iain Anderson
ML 3508 .A53 2007

Out of Sight

Out of Sight: The Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895
by Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff
ML 3479 .A2 2002

The Hip Hop Movement

The Hip Hop Movement: From R&B and the Civil Rights Movement to Rap and the Hip Hop Generation
by Reiland Rabaka
ML 3479 .R28 2013

Souled American

Souled American: How Black Music Transformed White Culture
by Kevin Phinney
ML 3479 .P5 2005

The Chronicle of Jazz

The Chronicle of Jazz
by Mervyn Cooke
ML 3506 .C69 2013

People Get Ready

People Get Ready!: A New History of Black Gospel Music
by Robert Darden
ML 3187 .D37 2008

. . . and so much more!

Now we can’t talk about music without recognizing some of our hometown musical legends. So make sure you check out the books we have on:

And while we don’t currently have books on the following musical St. Louisans we still need to people like:

  • Albert King
  • Tina Turner
  • Donny Hathway
  • The Isley Brothers
  • Nelly

We’ll leave you with a few different interpretations of “St. Louis Blues” to help keep the musical mindset going. Enjoy 😉


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