20 items
1920s, Louis Armstrong
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Louis Armstrong's series of singles recorded for Okeh Records in the mid 1920s is considered as the birthplace of Jazz. Listen to his "Saint James Infirmary" and "Basin Street Blues" Louis Armstrong's series of singles recorded for Okeh Records in the mid 1920s is considered as the birthplace of Jazz. Listen to his "Saint James Infirmary" and "Basin Street Blues" Show less
1935, The Benny Goodman Trio
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Pianist Teddy Wilson became part of the first known interracial jazz group, with namesake Beddy Goodman (clarinet) and Gene Krupa (Gene). Pianist Teddy Wilson became part of the first known interracial jazz group, with namesake Beddy Goodman (clarinet) and Gene Krupa (Gene). Show less
1936, Robert Johnson
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In November 1936 Robert Johnson started his landmark recording session which influence can still be felt in later generations of music makers. He is known...Show more In November 1936 Robert Johnson started his landmark recording session which influence can still be felt in later generations of music makers. He is known as the father of the Delta Blues Style. Listen to "Crossroad Blues" and "Sweet Home Chicago" Show less
1944, Sister Rosetta Tharpe
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Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The Godmother of Rock and Roll, released "Down by the Riverside" which highlighted her pioneering electric guitar playing. Her influence on rock and roll is undeniable. Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The Godmother of Rock and Roll, released "Down by the Riverside" which highlighted her pioneering electric guitar playing. Her influence on rock and roll is undeniable. Show less
1951, The Kings of Rhythm (Ike Turner)
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The Kings of Rhythm single "Rocket 88", recorded at Sam Phillips' Sun Records, is often debated as the first rock and roll record. The Kings of Rhythm single "Rocket 88", recorded at Sam Phillips' Sun Records, is often debated as the first rock and roll record. Show less
1955, Marian Anderson
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Marian Anderson was the first black singer to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera. Marian Anderson was the first black singer to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera. Show less
1956, Nat King Cole
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Nat King Cole was the first black star of a national TV Show, "The Nat King Cole Show". Listen to the actual live recordings of his musical performance from his show. Nat King Cole was the first black star of a national TV Show, "The Nat King Cole Show". Listen to the actual live recordings of his musical performance from his show. Show less
1959, Miles Davis
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In 1959, Miles Davis released "Kind of Blue", one of the 100 greatest and most influential musical compilations (according to Time Magazine) and...Show more In 1959, Miles Davis released "Kind of Blue", one of the 100 greatest and most influential musical compilations (according to Time Magazine) and the best-selling Jazz album of all time. He assembled an all-star team, featuring John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, and Bill Evans for this monumental recording. Show less
1963, James Brown
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James Brown's first live album, "Live at the Apollo" gave birth to an entirely new Soul Music. In 2015, it was listed by Rolling Stone as the greatest Live Album of all time. James Brown's first live album, "Live at the Apollo" gave birth to an entirely new Soul Music. In 2015, it was listed by Rolling Stone as the greatest Live Album of all time. Show less
1967, Jimi Hendrix
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Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular...Show more Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music". Show less
1971, Charley Pride
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In 1971, Charley Pride became the first (and so far, only) black artist to win the Country Music Associations most prestigious, Entertainer of the Year award. In 2000, he also became the first black inductee at the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 1971, Charley Pride became the first (and so far, only) black artist to win the Country Music Associations most prestigious, Entertainer of the Year award. In 2000, he also became the first black inductee at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Show less
1972, Isaac Hayes
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Isaac Haye won the Academy Award for the Best Original Song for the "Theme from Shaft". He is the first black artist to win an Oscar for a non-acting category, and the first winner who wrote and recorded the award-winning song. Isaac Haye won the Academy Award for the Best Original Song for the "Theme from Shaft". He is the first black artist to win an Oscar for a non-acting category, and the first winner who wrote and recorded the award-winning song. Show less
1979, Sugar Hill Gang
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In 1979 Sugar Hill Gange released "Rapper's Delight", featuring Wonder Mike, Big Bank Hank and Master Gee singing rhyme over the music from Chic...Show more In 1979 Sugar Hill Gange released "Rapper's Delight", featuring Wonder Mike, Big Bank Hank and Master Gee singing rhyme over the music from Chics "Good Times". It was the first crossover rap smash, reaching number 36 on Billboard. It is credited for introducing hip hop music to a wide audience, Show less
1982, Michael Jackson
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Michael Jackson's Thriller album topped the Billboard chart for 37 weeks and included seven top 10 singles. It won 8 Grammy's including Album and Record o...Show more Michael Jackson's Thriller album topped the Billboard chart for 37 weeks and included seven top 10 singles. It won 8 Grammy's including Album and Record of the Year. His music video for the single "Thriller" not only helped to double the sales of the album, it is also credited for transforming music videos into a serious art form. Show less
1992, Whitney Houston
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Featuring 6 songs by Whitney Houston, including her cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" which topped the Billboard charts for 14 we...Show more Featuring 6 songs by Whitney Houston, including her cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" which topped the Billboard charts for 14 weeks. The collection won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and is the all-time best-selling soundtrack. Show less
1999, Lauryn Hill
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Lauryn Hill's album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" is the first hip-hop album to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Lauryn Hill's album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" is the first hip-hop album to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Show less
2000s, Beyoncé
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Beyoncé was the best-selling artist of the 2000s with 64 gold and platinum certifications for her albums, digital songs, ringtones and videos. Beyoncé was the best-selling artist of the 2000s with 64 gold and platinum certifications for her albums, digital songs, ringtones and videos. Show less
2018, Kendrick Lamar
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Kendrick Lamar was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music for his 2017 album Damn. He is the first non-classical/jazz artist to be awarded in that category. Kendrick Lamar was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music for his 2017 album Damn. He is the first non-classical/jazz artist to be awarded in that category. Show less
2019, Childish Gambino
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"This is America" by Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover, was the first rap song to win Grammy Awards for Song and Record of the Year. "This is America" by Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover, was the first rap song to win Grammy Awards for Song and Record of the Year. Show less
Black History Month Playlist on Freegal Music
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Listen to selections of songs from the albums above directly on Freegal Music. Listen to selections of songs from the albums above directly on Freegal Music. Show less
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