We’ll feature a trio of composers and lyricists who were there at the beginning of what we know today as the Great American Songbook: Noble Sissle (7/10/1889-12/17/1975), Jimmy McHugh (7/10/1894-5/23/1969) and Mitchell Parish (7/10/1900-3/31/1993).

A brief note about Noble Sissle:
After serving as a drum major in James Reese Europe’s 369th Division Band in France (the band is credited with introducing jazz to France) during World War One, Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake (also a member of the Europe band) formed a vaudeville act known as “The Dixie Duo.” Most notable was their 1921 musical “Shuffle Along”, the first Broadway musical in over a decade to an all-black cast. While its plot would not play well in 2024, it was a rousing success at the time running for 504 performances. It also helped to launch the careers of Paul Robeson and Josephine Baker. A small number of its songs have survived the test of time including “I’m Just Wild About Harry” which Harry Truman used as his presidential theme song in 1948.

Listen in to The Night Beat with host Doug Crane as he celebrates Great American Songbook birthdays on Wednesday, July 10 at 8 p.m. on KUVO…the Oasis in the City!

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