Black Music at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair

May 13, 2012 | Music, Press

Chicago celebrated its 175th birthday this past March. The CBMR teamed up with WFMT to highlight key moments in Chicago musical history in honor of the occasion. This collaboration was the kind I like: it was straightforward with clear parameters and truly mutually beneficial. WFMT added rich content and a level of diversity to its musical celebration of Chicago’s birthday and CBMR staff got  to share some of our favorite stories and interesting pieces from the Center’s holdings. A bonus: it was also great fun to work with the WFMT team. Matt (DeStefano) brought flexibility, a sense of humor, and no-nonsense focus to each stage of the project.

In this video I share some of the black musical convergences that happened at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1933:

You can watch the rest and hear the CBMR’s recording of the Florence Price (piano) Concerto in One Movement on the WFMT blog:

Members of CBMR’s super-talented Library and Archives staff discuss “the father of gospel music” Thomas Dorsey, Chicago R&B and Soul disc jockey Richard Stams, the Staple Singers and more on Matt’s author archive:

Long live Chicago!

Related: The theme of the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair was “A Century of Progress.”In my video bit, I mention that one of the futuristic wonders I would have liked to have seen was the house of tomorrow. I have since learned that you can see it, but it is a sight for sore eyes now and has landed on the Indiana Landmarks 2012 Most Endangered list. Architecture critic and blogger Lee Bey has a great post about the house of tomorrow here:


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