Friday, January 22, 2010

On March 10, 2010 at 7 pm, author Bill Reed will be reading from and signing copies of his new publication, Hot from Harlem, at Los Angeles' premier literary centre, Book Soup, 8818 Sunset BL W., West Hollywood, CA 90069 - 310 659 3110
From the early days of minstrelsy to Black Broadway, author Bill Reed's Hot from Harlem: Twelve African American Entertainers, 1890-1960, is the story of African American entertainment as seen through the eyes of some of its most famous as well as others of its practitioners. The book moves from the beginning of African American participation in show business up through the present age. Musician Will Marion Cook ("The master of all masters of our people" --- Duke Ellington) and showman Billy McClain are discovered in action at the very dawn of black parity in the entertainment field; six chapters later, the young Sammy Davis, Jr., breaks through the invisible ceiling that has kept those before him “in their place.” In between, the likes of Valaida Snow, Nora Holt, Billy Strayhorn, Hazel Scott, Dinah Washington, and others are found making contributions to the fight against racism both in and out of “the business.” Containing much heretofore previously unknown information --- including a chapter on the fabulous performing Whitman Sisters, written in cooperation with their family---Hot From Harlem turns the spotlight on this unjustly neglected aspect of U.S. entertainment history.

The final chapter, entitled "Subjects for Further Research," contains information about numerous once famous African-American stars of stage, screen, and recordings who have since fallen through the cracks of time.

About the Author

Bill Reed is a journalist and writer whose articles on show business, the arts and popular music have appeared in such publications as Rolling Stone, the San Francisco Examiner and International Documentary. In 1992 he curated two shows at the California Afro-American [now "African-American"] Museum: "Hollywood Days Harlem Nights," a history of Los Angeles' fabled Central Avenue, and "Midnight Ramble," an exhibit of poster art from black cast motion pictures. Reed wrote for the hit TV series One Day at a Time, and is also the co-author of Rock on Film (Putnam's). He is currently a record producer of jazz recordings for SSJ Records (Japan).

ISBN 978-0-7864-4467-0

20 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
271pp. softcover 2010

Will Marion Cook

                                                                   The Whitman Sisters

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