BULLET Black Music Month @ St. Louis Public Library
The Music Tree
A Select Bibliography

bbmtree.jpg (20002 bytes)The Music Tree represents the evolution of black music. The tree has numerous roots and branches. The roots spring from the utterances of slaves – their chants, moans, and cries for deliverance. The branches represent spirituals, blues, black meter music, ragtime, jazz, hymns, historic gospel, modern gospel, rhythm and blues, funk, and hip-hop/rap.

The evolution of black music is also the evolution of American music. The history of black music parallels African-American history. Black music has portrayed people who were separated from society as they attempted to exist within society.

To learn more about black music, the St. Louis Public Library has compiled a select list available titles.


African-American Heritage Hymnal. Chicago: Gia Publications, Inc., 2001. 782.27.

Armstrong, Louis. Louis Armstrong, in His Own Words. NY: Oxford University Press, 1999. B

Ayazi-Hashjin, Sherry. Rap and Hip-Hop: The Voice of a Generation. NY: Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 1999. J782.421649

Bayer, Linda N. Quincy Jones. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2000. JB

Bego, Mark. Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul. NY: Da Capo Press, 2001. B

Bennett, Bobby. The Ultimate Soul Music Trivia Book: 501 Questions and Answers about Motown, Rhythm & Blues, and More. Secaucus, NJ: Carol Publishing Group, 1998. 781.644

Butler, Jerry. Only the Strong Survive: Memoirs of a Soul Survivor. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2000. B

Caesar, Shirley. The Lady, The Melody, and The Word: The Inspirational Story of the First Lady of Gospel. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing, 1998. B

Carr, Ian. Miles Davis: The Definitive Biography. NY: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1998. B

Cole, Natalie. Angel On My Shoulder: An Autobiography. NY: Warner Books, 2000. B

Corio, David. Black Chord: Visions of the Groove: Connections Between Afro-Beats, Rhythm & Blues, Hip-Hop, and More. NY: Universe Publishing, 1999. 781.6408996

Cox, Ted. The Temptations. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1997. J782.4216609

Danchin, Sebastian. "Blues Boy:" The Life and Music of B.B. King. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1998. B

Douglas, Tony. Jackie Wilson: The Man, The Music, The Mob. Edinburgh, Great Britain: Mainstream Publishing Co., 2001. B

Elmer, Howard. Blues: Its Birth and Growth. NY: Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 1999. 781.64309

Epstein, Daniel Mark. Nat King Cole. NY: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 1999. B

Fitterling, Thomas. Thelonious Monk: His Life and Music. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Hills Books, 1997. B

Flaherty, Ed. The Blues Alive: The Timeless Tradition. Prescott, AZ: Hohm Press, 1999. 781.64309

Foster, Chuck. Roots, Rock, Reggae: An Oral History of Reggae Music From Ska to Dancehall. NY: Billboard Books, 1999. 781.64609

Fraher, James. The Blues is a Feeling: Voices and Visions of African- American Blues Musicians. Mount Horeb, WI: Face to Face Books, 1998. 781.6430922

Franklin, Kirk. Church Boy. Nashville, TN: Word Publishing, 1998. B

Freeland, David. Ladies of Soul. Nashville, TN: Sony, 2001. 782.426144

Freeman, Scott. Otis: The Otis Redding Story. NY: St. Martin's Press, 2001. B

Gerard, Charles D. Jazz in Black and White: Race, Culture, and Identity in the Jazz Community. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1998. 781.650973

Green, Al. Take Me to the River. NY: Harper Entertainment, 2000. B

Greene, Meg. Lauryn Hill. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2000. JB

Gregory, Hugh. The Real Rhythm and Blues. United Kingdom: Blandford, 1998. 781.6430922

Greig, Charlotte. Icons of Black Music. San Diego, CA: Thunder Bay Press, 1999. 780.92396

Hacker, Carlotta. Great African Americans in Jazz. NY: Crabtree Publishing Co., 1997. J781.650922

Hardy, James Earl. Boyz II Men. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1997. J782.420922

Hasday, Judy L. Tina Turner. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2000. JB

Hip Hop Divas. NY: Three Rivers Press, 2001. 782.421649

Hopkinson, Deborah. A Band of Angels: A Story Inspired by the Jubilee Singers. NY: Athenaeum Books for Young Readers, 1999. JFIC

Houston, Cissy. How Sweet the Sound: My Life With God and Gospel. NY: Doubleday, 1998. B

Jasen, David A. Spreadin' Rhythm Around: Black Popular Songwriters, 1880-1930. NY: Schirmer Books, 1998. 781.643089

Jones, Bobby. Make a Joyful Noise: My 25 Years in Gospel Music. NY: St. Martin's Press, 2000. B

Jones, Quincy. Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones. NY: Doubleday Publishers, 2001. B

Kahn, Ashley. Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece. NY: Da Capo Press, 2000. 781.650266

Keeley, Jennifer. Rap Music. San Diego, CA: Lucent Books, 2001. 782.421649

Kitt, Eartha. Rejuvenate! It's Never Too Late. NY: Scribner, 2001. 782.42164

Lydon, Michael. Ray Charles: Man and Music. NY: Riverhead Books, 1998. B

Margolick, David. Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Café Society, and an Early Cry for Civil Rights. Philadelphia: Running Press, 2000. 782.412592

Marron, Maggie. Will Smith: From Rap Star to Mega Star. NY: Warner Books, 2000. B

McKissack, Patricia and Fredrick. Louis Armstrong: Jazz Musician. Berkeley Heights, New Jersey: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2001. JB

Merlis, Bob. Heart & Soul: A Celebration of Black Music Style in America, 1930-1975. NY: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1997. 780.8996073

Murray, Charles Shaar. Boogie Man: The Adventures of John Lee Hooker in the American Twentieth Century. NY: St. Martin's Press, 2000. B

Nathan, David. The Soulful Divas: Personal Portraits of Over a Dozen Divas, From Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, & Diana Ross to Patti LaBelle, Anita Baker & Natalie Cole. NY: Billboard Books, 1999. 782.42164

Newman, Richard. Go Down Moses: A Celebration of the African-American Spiritual. NY: Roundtable Press, Inc., 1998. 782.2530268

Nicholson, Stuart. Reminiscing in Tempo: A Portrait of Duke Ellington. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1999. 781.65092

Ogg, Alex. The Hip Hop Years: A History of Rap. NY: Fromm International, 2001. 782.421649

Pendergrass, Teddy. Truly Blessed. NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1998. B

Ritz, David. The Brothers: Art, Aaron, Charles, and Cyril Neville. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 2000. 781.640922

Ro, Ronin. Bad Boy: The Influence of Sean "Puffy " Combs on the Music Industry. NY: Pocket Books, 2001. B

Roberts, John Storm. Black Music of Two Worlds: African, Caribbean, Latin, and African-American Traditions. NY: Simon & Schuster Macmillan, 1998.780.8996

Robeson, Paul. The Undiscovered Paul Robeson: An Artist's Journey, 1898-1939. NY: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2001. B

Salem, James M. The Late Great Johnny Ace and the Transition From R&B to Rock `N' Roll. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois, 1999. B

Southern, Eileen. Music of Black Americans: A History. NY: W.W.   Norton, 1997. 780.8996073

Spencer, Jon Michael. The New Negroes and Their Music: The Success of the Harlem Renaissance. Knoxville, TN: The University of Tennessee Press, 1997. 780.8996073

Stewart, Earl L. African American Music: An Introduction. NY: Schirmer Books, 1998. 780.8996073

Taylor, Marc. Touch of Classic Soul 2: The Late 1970s. NY: Aloiv Publishing Co., 2001. 782.421644

Thomas, Joyce. Hush Songs: African American Lullabies. NY: Hyperion Books for Children, 2000. J782.421582

Thomas, Velma Maia. No Man Can Hinder Me: The Journey From Slavery to Emancipation Through Song. NY: Crown Publishers, 2001. 780.8996073

Townsend, Henry. A Blues Life. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois, 1999. B

Turner, Steve. Trouble Man: The Life and Death of Marvin Gaye. NY: Ecco Press, 2000. B

Vigna, Giuseppe. Jazz and Its History. NY: Barron's Educational Series, Inc., 1999. J781.6509

Ward, Andrew. Dark Midnight When I Rise: The Story of the Jubilee Singers, Who Introduced the World to the Music of Black America. NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2000. 782.253097

Warren, Gwendolin Sims. Ev'ry Time I Feel the Spirit: 101 Best-Loved Psalms, Gospel Hymns, and Spiritual Songs of the African-American Church. NY: Henry Holt and Company, 1997. 782.25

Werner, Craig Hansen. A Change is Gonna Come: Music, Race, and the Soul of America. NY: Penguin, 1999. 780.8996073

Whitall, Susan. Women of Motown: An Oral History. NY: Avon Books, 1998. 781.63082

White, Barry. Love Unlimited: Insights on Life and Love. NY: Broadway Books, 1999. B

Wilson, Mary. Dreamgirl; and Supreme Faith: My Life as a Supreme. NY: Cooper Square Press, 1999. B

Winans, CeCe. On A Positive Note: Her Joyous Faith, Her Life in Music, and Her Everyday Blessings. NY: Pocket Books,  1999. B

Wright, David K. Paul Robeson: Actor, Singer, Political Activist. Springfield, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 1968. JB