William Grant Still

William Grant Still

The First Hundred Years:
A Chronology of Cultural Connections



William Grant Still composes Kaintuck, for piano and orchestra.

Porgy and Bess, by George Gershwin (1898-1937), premieres in New York City at the Alvin Theatre.


Teddy Wilson and Lionel Hampton become the first African-American members of Benny Goodman's band.


William Grant Still composes the ballet Lennox Avenue

The Count Basie Orchestra opens at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York.

Bessie Smith dies near Clarksdale, Mississippi.


Billie Holiday performs with Artie Shaw.

"Sister" Rosetta Tharpe (1921-1973) is the first gospel singer to record with a major record label (Decca Records). In the same year, she appears at the Cotton Club with "Cab" Calloway.

Shirley Caesar born in Durham, North Carolina.


Verna Arvey

William Grant Still marries his second wife, pianist Verna Arvey.


The music of William Grant Still is played continuously at the Perisphere for the Theme Exhibit at the New York World's Fair.

The Archive of American Folksong at the Library of Congress records a History of Jazz with Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton.

After being denied permission to perform in Constitution Hall because of color, Marian Anderson (1899-1993) gives a concert before an audience of 75,000 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Wa shington, D.C.

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A project of The Digital Scriptorium, Special Collections Library, Duke University. September 1995