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...Few songwriters can claim as important a space in the Great American Songbook as Stephen Foster. His career, which lasted from 1848 until his death in 1864, produced over 200 songs, many of which have been continually recorded since. Born...

Paul Robeson

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...Paul Leroy Robeson was an African American singer, actor, and civil rights activist. His activism, as well as his leftist ideologies, is arguably considered to have ruined his American career, though he has remained popular in Europe...

Jimmy Dorsey

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...Along with his brother Tommy, Jimmy Dorsey’s meteoric career as a leader of a big band and as a clarinetist maintained relevance through the twentieth century. Born in Pennsylvania in 1904, Dorsey began playing trumpet but, by 1915, had...
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...Frank Sinatra, variously known as “The Voice”, “The Chairman of the Board”, and “Ol’ Blue Eyes”, is one of the most popular, most influential, and best-selling music artists in history. Aside from his singing career, both as a solo artist...

Count Basie

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...Unlike many other performers of the period, the pianist and bandleader Count Basie managed to adapt his style to changing tastes during the transitional period between swing and bop. Basie was born in 1904 in New Jersey, and his mother...

Cab Calloway

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...Within the landscape of jazz music in the early twentieth century, Cab Calloway stood out as a unique figure. Born in Rochester, New York to upper middle-class parents, Calloway moved to Baltimore when he was eleven. His family recognized...

Frank Zappa

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...Frank Vincent Zappa, born on December 21, 1940, in Maryland, USA, was an American filmmaker, multi-instrumentalist, and through his music and film, political commentator. Throughout his music career, Zappa arguably earned most of his...
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...The jazz output of John Coltrane saw his innovative approach to post-bop forms evolve to express his own take on spirituality. Born in North Carolina in 1926, a series of family deaths in 1938 led him to relocate, with his mother...

Perry Como

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...With an overt sense of authenticity and a focus on good taste, Perry Como achieved massive success as a singer and media personality. Born in Pennsylvania in 1912 into a family of recent Italian immigrants, Como would learn to play his...

Marvin Gaye

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...The sociopolitically tinged soul music of Marvin Gaye has persevered as a contextualizing soundtrack to the turmoil of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Gaye was born in 1939 in Washington, D.C. and the family was led by his disciplinarian...