“The Best Notes Made the Most Votes”: W. C. Handy, E. H. Crump, and Black Music as Politics

  title={“The Best Notes Made the Most Votes”: W. C. Handy, E. H. Crump, and Black Music as Politics},
  author={Mark A. Johnson},
  journal={Southern Cultures},
  pages={52 - 68}
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In 1909, three white politicians--Edward H. Crump, Joseph J. Williams, and Walter W. Talbert--vied to become the next mayor of Memphis. Each of the candidates utilized traditional campaign tactics to win the office, such as speeches, rallies, advertisements, and posters. In a common move among southern office-seekers, they also employed black musicians to campaign on their behalf. As African American musician and bandleader William Christopher Handy explained, "[I]n… 



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