11/02/2018

Joshua Daniel White

Joshua Daniel White (February 11, 1914 – September 5, 1969), known as Josh White, was an American singer, guitarist, songwriter, actor, and civil rights activist. He also recorded under the names "Pinewood Tom" and "Tippy Barton" in the 1930s.
White grew up in the Jim Crow South. During the 1920s and 1930s, he became a prominent race records artist, with a prolific output of recordings in genres including Piedmont blues, country blues, gospel, and social protest songs. In 1931, White moved to New York, and within a decade his fame had spread widely; his repertoire expanded to include urban blues, jazz, traditional folk songs, and political protest songs. He soon was in demand as an actor on radio, Broadway, and film.
White also became the closest African-American friend and confidant to president Franklin D. Roosevelt. However, White's anti-segregationist and international human rights political stance presented in many of his recordings and in his speeches at rallies resulted in the McCarthyites assuming him to be a Communist. Accordingly, from 1947 through the mid-1960s, White became caught up in the anti-Communist Red Scare, and combined with the resulting attempt to clear his name, his career was damaged.
White's musical style influenced many future generations of musical artists, including, Brownie McGhee, Pete Seeger, Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge, Nat King Cole, Harry Belafonte, Lonnie Donegan, Eartha Kitt, Alexis Korner, Odetta, Elvis Presley, Tracy Chapman, Joan Armatrading, The Kingston Trio, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, Merle Travis, Dave Van Ronk, Peter, Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan, Eric Weissberg, Judy Collins, Mike Bloomfield, Danny Kalb, Roger McGuinn, David Crosby, Richie Havens, Don McLean, Roy Harper, Ry Cooder, John Fogerty, Eva Cassidy and Jack White.
White was one of four children born to Reverend Dennis and Daisy Elizabeth White, on February 2, 1914, in the black section of Greenville, South Carolina, United States. His father told him that he was named after the Biblical character Joshua of the Old Testament. His mother introduced him to music at five years old, when he began singing in his local church's choir. White's father threw a white bill collector out of his home in 1921, causing him to be beaten so badly that he very nearly died, and then was locked up in an mental institution, where he died nine years later.
In 1961, White's health began a sharp decline as he experienced the first of the three heart attacks and the progressive heart disease that would plague him over his final eight years. As a lifelong smoker he also had progressive emphysema, in addition to ulcers, and severe psoriasis in his hands and calcium deficiency in his body that would cause the skin to peel off of his fingers and leave his fingernails broken and bleeding with every concert. During the last two years of his life, as his heart weakened dramatically, his wife Carol would put him in the hospital for four weeks after he completed each two-week concert tour. Finally, the doctors felt his only survival option was to attempt a new procedure to replace heart valves. The surgery failed.
He died on the operating table on September 5, 1969 at the North Shore Hospital in Manhasset, New York.
When Associated Press interviewed Harry Belafonte, upon learning of White's passing, he said, "I can't tell you how sad I am. I spent many, many hours with him in the years of my early development. He had a profound influence on my style. At the time I came along, he was the only popular black folk singer, and through his artistry exposed America to a wealth of material about the life and conditions of black people that had not been sung by any other artist."

27867227_10215944798431968_906781606162454523_n.jpg

 Facebook | | |

Écrire un commentaire

NB : Les commentaires de ce blog sont modérés.