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That's Got 'Em!The Life and Music of Wilbur C. Sweatman$
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Mark Berresford

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604730999

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604730999.001.0001

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In Defense of Wilbur Sweatman

In Defense of Wilbur Sweatman

A Response to His Critics

Chapter:
(p.3) Chapter 1 In Defense of Wilbur Sweatman
Source:
That's Got 'Em!
Author(s):

Mark Berresford

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781604730999.003.0001

This chapter describes the importance of Sweatman, contrary to the views of early jazz writers who often looked upon him with derision and scorn due mainly to his minstrel/vaudeville roots. Aside from influencing and encouraging African American musicians, Sweatman was the first black instrumentalist to record in the United States with a racially mixed group. He was one of the first African American artists, if not the first, to appear on the vaudeville stage in ordinary dress clothes and without the use of demeaning burnt-cork blackface makeup, and also opened the door to recording work for other black musicians.

Keywords:   Wilbur C. Sweatman, African American musicians, black instrumentalists, recording

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