(no subject given)

Art Schuna aschuna@VMS2.MACC.WISC.EDU
Sun Nov 12 14:47:41 EST 1995

In article <v01510101accbdb54c556@[]> Richard Flohil <rflohil@INFORAMP.NET> writes:
>Subject: (no subject given)
>Date: Sun, 12 Nov 1995 13:01:21 -0500
>From: Richard Flohil <rflohil@INFORAMP.NET>

>The indefegatible Eric LeBlanc, in his excellent post on the passing of
>music puboisher Leeds Levy, suggested that Meade Lux Lewis (or was it
>Albert Ammons? I just ditched the post by accident!) may have been the
>first black member of ASCAP. I hope no-one at ASCAP is keeping perfect
>count, but I think that various others would have preceeded the
>boogie-woogie pianist-including Eubie Blake, Andy Razaf, Fats Waller, Duke
>Ellington, Louis Armatrong...Cheers, Richard the Elder.

I don't know who was first, but the book "A Left Hand Like God" had an
account of Lewis' attempt to get ASCAP membership.  He applied for
membership in 1941.  Both Downbeat and Lewis' publisher Leeds Music Company
took up his cause after denial of membership.  Downbeat published stories
criticizing ASCP in Oct 30, 1941 and January 1942.  Lewis was basing his
membership application on commercial hits (>500,000 sales) for "Yancey
Special" and "Honky Tonk Train Blues".  He had five other published works
with Leeds.  The adverse publicity caused ASCAP to grant membership.  The
reason for the initial denial was never given but felt due to either
discrimination or the view by some at the time that boogie woogie was not "
serious" music.  Leeds music and Levy were leaders in the movement for equal
treatment of black artists.  Membership meant that Lewis had a permanent
financial return from his copyrighted music.

Art Schuna

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