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June is Black Music Month

Thinking back to when Elvis became popular for singing “Hound Dog” that had actually been recorded by Big Mama Thornton probably when Elvis was in diapers.

Mixed American Life

Black MusicWhat Is Black Music Month?

Black Music Month began in 1979 when Kenny Gamble, Ed Wright, and Dyana Williams developed the idea to set aside a month dedicated to celebrating the impact of black music. Created by music business insiders, the group successfully lobbied President Jimmy Carter to host a reception on June 7th, 1979 to formally recognize the cultural and financial contributions of black music. Since 1979, Black Music Month has grown from a commemoration to national proportions with extravaganza across the country.

In 2000, US-Representative Chaka Fattah sponsored House Resolution 509, which formally recognized the importance of Black music on culture and the economy during President Bill Clinton’s administration.

In 2009, President Barack Obama further defined June as African American Music Appreciation Month who declared the start of summer as a celebration for all the black “musicians, composers, singers, and songwriters [who] have made enormous contributions…

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