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African American singers




A Conversation with Bobby Short

New York cabaret legend Bobby Short died Monday of leukemia at age 80. The singer performed at New York's Carlyle Hotel for nearly four decades. Short was born in Danville, Ill., and began his career at age 9, known as "The Miniature King of Swing." He was named a Living Landmark by New York's Landmark Conservancy and a National Living Legend by the Library of Congress.


Cabaret Singer Bobby Short

He's been playing piano and singing at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City since 1968. He's considered one of the great cabaret singers of our time. The 79-year-old song stylist was slated to retire from the Cafe Carlyle this coming New Year's Eve, but he's extended his schedule, and he's not going anywhere for the time being. Short has been named a "living landmark" by New York's Landmark Conservancy and a "national living legend" by the Library of Congress.


Great Performances: Three Mo' Tenors

Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews Three Mo' Tenors, a PBS Great Performances program and a new CD. It features the African-American tenors Rodrick Dixon, Victor Trent Cook and Thomas Young.


From the Archives: Jazz Singer Jimmy Scott Is Back in the Public Eye.

Singer Jimmy Scott. He sang with Lionel Hampton's band in the late 1940s early 50s and influenced such singers as Nancy Wilson, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder. Quincy Jones who played with Hampton's band then said of Scott's singing, "It's a very emotional, soul-penetrating style. Jimmy used to tear my heart out every night." He became best known for his ballads. Despite his talent, SCOTT has had a sporadic singing career marked by long periods of obscurity. He returned to performing and recording in the early 1990s. (REBROADCAST from 7/23/92)


From the Archives: 'Fresh Air's 10th Anniversary Concert: Father and Son Rufus and Marvell Thomas Take the Stage.

INT. 2: An on stage performance with Rufus Thomas, the self-proclaimed “world’s oldest teenager.” He was recorded at the 1997 Chicago Blues Festival. He played an integral role in the success of major record labels in the nineteen-fifties, Sun Records and Stax Records. Rebroadcast from 7/3/97. Musicians Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham, and Marvell Thomas also play.


Remembering Joe Williams.

We remember jazz singer Joe Williams who died yesterday at the age of 80. Williams begin singing professionally at age 17, influenced by Erskine Tate, Jimmy Noone and Coleman Hawkins. In 1954, he became Count Basie's number one singer and was perhaps the principal reason the band was the dominate big band of the 50s and 60s. His hits include "Every Day (I Have the Blues)" and "All Right, Ok, You Win." He started performing as a soloist in 1961. (REBROADCAST from 6/20/89)


Remembering Charles Brown.

We remember bluesman, songwriter and pianist Charles Brown. He died yesterday from congestive heart failure. (REBROADCAST from 6/22/89)


Temptations Singer Otis Williams

Wiliams was the founder of The Temptations, whose smooth five-part harmonies and synchronized dance steps made them one of the hottest of Motown's super groups. Their hits included "My Girl," "Just My Imagination," and "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." He is the only surviving member. A new made for TV movies has been made about the group and will be shown on NBC this Sunday night. (REBROADCAST from 9/15/88)

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