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About American Song

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1. About the Database

American Song is an eclectic collection of music from Americans of diverse origins and all walks of life, from America’s past and present. The songs are by and about American Indians, miners, immigrants, slaves, children, pioneers, and cowboys. They touch topics as varied as Civil Rights, political campaigns, Prohibition, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, anti-war protests, and more. And the range of genres includes country, folk, bluegrass, Western, old time, American Indian, blues, gospel, shape note singing, doo-wop, Motown, R&B, soul, funk, and others.

Labels include Rounder Records, Appleseed Recordings, Stax, Specialty Records, Testament Records, McNeil Music, Native Ground Music, Rebel Records, County Records, Smithsonian Folkways, Document Records, and more.

As of June, 2009, all the music from the former African American Music collection (no longer offered) is now here in American Song. The music of all Americans, including African Americans, is now consolidated here in an expanded American Song.

If you have been a user of the old African American Music, you’ll find all your playlists, course folders, and login information from African American Music here in American Song.

If you’re accustomed to the old African American Music collection, you might want to restrict your searches here in American Song specifically to African American music. You can do so in one of the following two ways:

  • From the top toolbar, click Browse Genres. On the search screen, select the subject category called African American Music. You can narrow further by sub-genre, ensemble, artist, etc.
  • From the top toolbar, click either Browse Albums or Browse All Recordings. Both search screens have a box labeled restrict results to African American content only. You’ll see the box on the upper right hand corner of either search screen.
  • Liner notes to all the albums are included (in PDF format) as well as static URLs to each track and album in the database. Content is added on a regular basis, and exciting new materials will be highlighted on the home page, so please check back regularly for updates.

    2. Acknowledgments

    At Alexander Street Press, the following people have been instrumental in the development of the collection:

    • Andrea Eastman-Mullins
    • Christina Chamberlain
    • David Vaughn
    • Greg Knapp
    • Joanna Koslowsky
    • John Field
    • Liz Dutton
    • Paul Dixon
    • Stephen Rhind-Tutt
    • Tim Lloyd
    • W. Gerard Poole
    • Will Whalen
    • Xochitl Tafoya
    • Young Park