- Jules Bledsoe
Jules Bledsoe (1898 - 1943) was a once renowned, but now semi-forgotten
baritone, and the first African Americanartist to gain regular employment on Broadway.
After graduating from
Bishop Collegein Texas, he studied at Virginia Union Collegeand Columbia University. He debuted in New York's Aeolian Hall in 1924 which resulted in him obtaining management from impresario Sol Hurok.
Bledsoe performed in
Frank Harling's opera "Deep River" in 1926 and he created the role of Joe in Jerome Kernand Oscar Hammerstein II's " Show Boat" in 1927, after Paul Robeson was unable to appear in it because of scheduling conflicts. (Robeson first played the role five months after the Broadway opening, in the 1928 London production. He eventually eclipsed Bledsoe in the role, and became world-famous for his rendition of " Ol' Man River". Robeson also played Joe in the 1932 Broadway production, in the 1936 film version, and a 1940 Los Angeles stage production, and he made many recordings of "Ol' Man River", as opposed to Bledsoe, who made only one.)
In Verdi's opera with the Chicago Opera "
Aida" Bledsoe sang the role of Amonasro. In Louis Gruenberg's " The Emperor Jones", he played the title character. Both aforementioned productions were at the Hippodrome. In a Holland production, he sang the title character in Mussorgsky's " Boris Godunov".
Bledsoe toured the concert circuit and was a member of the
Roxy Theatre's music staff as a part of Roxy's Gang. The 1935 BBCprogram "Songs of the Negro" was programmed by Bledsoe who then sang in " Blackbirds of 1936", a London production.
Bledsoe's only recording of "Ol' Man River", which he sang in the original production of "Show Boat", is occasionally played on the
NPR musical theatreprogram, "A Night on the Town". His rendition of the song, especially in comparison to those made famous by Paul Robeson, William Warfield(in the 1951 film version), Bruce Hubbard(on the 1988 3-disc EMIalbum), and Michel Bell (in the Harold Princerevival of the show), is somewhat exaggeratedly melodramatic in the manner of early twentieth-century acting, and Bledsoe rolls all of his "r"'s, as a baritone might when singing his solos in an oratorio. A recently released album of vintage spiritual recordings features Bledsoe singing " Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" in that same exaggeratedly melodramatic style, [ [http://music.barnesandnoble.com/search/product.asp?z=y&EAN=805520090384&itm=2 A First-Time Buyer's Guide to American Negro Spirituals, Music CD - Barnes & Noble ] at music.barnesandnoble.com] which demonstrates that it was not unique to his performance of "Ol' Man River".
Bledsoe was also actually filmed singing the song - his rendition of it was included in the
sound prologueto the part-talkie1929 film version of "Show Boat".
In November, 1933,
Billie Holidaymade her first record as vocalist for Benny Goodman's studio orchestra doing a fairly popular song "Your Mother's Son-In-Law", written by Nichols and Holiner for Lew Leslie's "Blackbirds of 1934". In the song, there is a reference to Bledsoe - "You don't have to sing like Bledsoe. You can tell the world I said so.".
*"The Music of Black Americans: A History".
Eileen Southern. W. W. Norton & Company; 3rd edition. ISBN 0-393-97141-4
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Bledsoe — ist der Name mehrerer Personen: Ben Bledsoe, Mitglied der Boygroup Natural Drew Bledsoe (* 1972), ehemaliger American Football Spieler Jesse Bledsoe (1776–1836), US Senator aus Kentucky Jules Bledsoe (1898–1943), afroamerikanischer Sänger Samuel… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Bledsoe — may refer to: People * Ben Bledsoe (born 1982), American pop singer * Drew Bledsoe (born 1972), former American football quarterback * Jesse Bledsoe (1776 1836), Senator from Kentucky * Jules Bledsoe (1898 1943), African American singer * Samuel… … Wikipedia
Bledsoe, Jules — (1898 1943) Born in Waco, Texas, the African American singer and actor originated roles in a few significant Broadway productions. In Paul Green s Pulitzer PRiZE winning In Abraham s Bosom (1926), Bledsoe played Abraham McCranie, a deeply… … The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater
Ol' Man River — For other uses, see Old Man River (disambiguation). Ol Man River Music by Jerome Kern Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II Written 1927 Recorded by Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, others Performed by Paul Robeson, Jules Bledsoe, others Ol Man River… … Wikipedia
Show Boat — Infobox Musical name = Show Boat boxwidth = 21em image size = 0 caption = Window card for the 1994 revival music = Jerome Kern lyrics = Oscar Hammerstein II book = Oscar Hammerstein II basis = Edna Ferber s 1926 novel Show Boat productions=1927… … Wikipedia
Show Boat (1929 film) — Infobox Film name = Show Boat image size = caption = director = Harry A. Pollard producer = Carl Laemmle writer = Edna Ferber (novel) Charles Kenyon (continuity) narrator = starring = Laura La Plante Joseph Schildkraut Emily Fitzroy Otis Harlan… … Wikipedia
Waco, Texas — Waco redirects here. For the siege near Waco, Texas, see Waco siege. For the steamship, see City of Waco. For other uses, see Waco (disambiguation). City of Waco City … Wikipedia
Ol’ Man River — ist der Titel des bekanntesten Liedes aus dem Musical Show Boat. Es wurde von Jerome David Kern (Musik) und Oscar Hammerstein II (Text) im Jahr 1927 verfasst. Der Showstopper wurde stilübergreifend gecovert und entwickelte sich zum Jazzstandard… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Stepin Fetchit — Articleissues pov=January 2008 refimprove=June 2007 Stepin Fetchit was the stage name of American comedian and film actor Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry (May 30 1902 ndash;November 19 1985). Perry parlayed the Fetchit persona into a… … Wikipedia
Stepin Fetchit — Données clés Nom de naissance Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry Surnom Step n Fetchit Stepin Fetchit Naissance 30 mai 1902 Key West (Floride), États Unis Nationalité États Unis Décès … Wikipédia en Français