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HANDY, W. C. (ed.)

Unsung Americans Sung.

Published: New York: [rubber stamped:] Handy Brothers Music Co., Inc., 1944

Stock code: 104469

Price: £2,750

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First edition, first printing, of Handy’s important collection of song tributes to outstanding African-Americans and articles on black culture and history. Presentation copy from the editor: “To my good friend Langston Hughes, who is the first to review this book. W. C. Handy”. A wonderful association copy, linking Handy, the “Father of the Blues”, and Langston Hughes, early innovator of jazz poetry and leader of the Harlem Renaissance. The two men were friends and collaborated on a number of songs together. Pages 188-92 include Hughes’s poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” set to music by Margaret Bonds; other contributors include such jazz luminaries as Eubie Blake, James P. Johnson, Andy Razaf, and Luckey Roberts.

Tall octavo. Original dark blue cloth patterned as leather, gilt lettered on front cover. Portraits and musical scores throughout. A little wear to head and tail of spine, general light paper toning. A very good copy.

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