In 1926, a Harvard scholar by the name of Dr. Carter G. Woodson organized the first annual Negro History Week. The said event happened in the second week of February which also coincides with the birthdays of two great civil rights leaders: Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. In honor of the annual Black History Month celebration, here are several profiles of famous African-American musicians, from Louis Armstrong to Fats Waller.
Louis Armstrong: Armstrong was a musician and composer of jazz music known as one of the founding fathers of jazz. Armstrong was also known as a trumpeter, singer, and actor with the nickname Satchmo.
Ray Charles: Charles is known as "The Genius," and was a gospel singer/songwriter and pianist.
Billie Holiday: Dubbed "Lady Day," Holiday was one of the foremost blues singers in history known for her soulful voice.
Scott Joplin: Joplin was known as the "King of Ragtime" due to his classic rags for the piano.
B.B. King: King was an American blues singer known as "The King of the Blues."
Charlie "Bird" Parker: Parker influenced the development of "bop" in the 1940s and was one of the greatest improvising soloists in jazz.
Bessie Smith: Smith was known as "Empress of the Blues," one of the greatest blues singers of the 1920s.