Explores the world of jazz vocalists - interspersing film clips of Billie Holliday, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington with performances by Carmen McRae and Al Jarreau. After they sing, McRae and Jarreau talk about how they developed their individual styles.
In a rater-raising service at Way of the Cross Church of Christ, Washington DC, Reverend James Cleveland, the DC Mass Choir, the Mighty Clouds of Joy and the church congregation leave no doubt about the invigorating effect of gospel music
Willie Dixon, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee perform and talk with Oscar Brown Jr. about the growth of the distinctive musical style called the blues
Featuring performances by Hugh Masekela and the Wo'se Dance Theatre, host Oscar Brown Jr. examines the special role of music in African and Afro-American culture
Jazz pioneers Alvin Alcorn and Roy Eldridge perform and talk with host Oscar Brown Jr. about the origins of their music. Also seen will be film clips and early photos telling the story of ragtime, the art form that grew from the music of the slaves.
Tracing black dance from the early days of cakewalks to modern times, this program features the Rod Rodgers Dance Troupe
Focusing on saxman Jackie McLean, James Moody and Dizzy Gillespie, this program examines the history of jazz from 1936 to present
Oscar Brown Jr. hosts Pearl Bailey to explore the role of music by black Americans in the evolution of theater and film. Performances by L.O. Sloane's high-spirited "Refined Jubilee Minstrels".
Oscar Brown Jr. explores the relationship between jazz and blues with special guests Willie Dixon, Roy Eldridge and Jackie McLean
Stevie Wonder demonstrates the characteristics of soul music through performance
The trends in the recording industry influencing the creation and marketing of music by black Americans
The evolution of rhythm and blues and its impact on contemporary American music are traced. Guest performers are Bo Diddley and the Dells.
Explores African musical patters retained by contemporary musicians. Guests include Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers and Babatunde Olatunji.