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Portraits of Famous American Artists
Eubie Blake

Interview With Eubie Blake

M.P.- Eubie, could you tell us your reminiscences of the 19th century?

E.B.- Sure. I was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the seventh day of February, 1883. My parents were slaves in the state of Virginia, and I'd like to say right now, I hold no malice against that, and I'll tell you why.
My father told me, "Everybody in the world wants to be somebody, and when you owned slaves, you were somebody."
I used to say, "Daddy, I don't like White people."
And he said, "Don't ...

Virgil Thomson

Interview With Virgil Thomson

M.P.- Virgil, you've divided composers into bachelors and family men: Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Satie and yourself are on one side: and Bach, Mozart, Schumann and Schoenberg are on the other. Do you think the same kind of energy goes into composing and family life?

V.T.- I haven't the vaguest idea of what goes on in family life- except for my own memories of youth and childhood which were very pleasant. Mozart had a disastrous family life; in eleven years of marriage his wife was pregnant ten times. I think she ...

Aaron Copland

Interview with Aaron Copland

M.P.- Okay, I've agreed not to bore you by asking you questions you've answered a thousand times in many, many interviews. If you're bored-in fact, if I'm bored- we'll end the interview.

A.C. - You can't ask me questions I haven't heard before.

M.P.- Then this will be the shortest interview ever recorded -or not recorded. I will not ask you about Nadia Boulanger, Gabriel Faure, film music, and why you turned to serial music after the war. When you were fifteen you first conceived of the idea ...

Richard Bartee

More About Richard Bartee: Subway Poet

More Hugging, less mugging
~ Richard Bartee's calling card

When a man passes from us, the brazen finality of his acts are set in vaporous stone; one can see the metaphorical as well as the physical acts of their lives as a poetic act speaking for itself. Richard Bartee’s years of amusing and enlightening rides on the D Train was a kind of experience in which the resonances of being buried by choice in the maw of an underground train.
Going ...

The Death Of A Subway Poet

One snowy April afternoon on a New York bus a large caramel skinned Black man with the built of a former football player he had been, dapperly dressed in a good suit had a sudden massive heart attack; he died instantly as he sat looking out on a city street. It was a rough irony that Richard Bartee, the famous “Avenue D Poet” of the 70s perished in his seat at only 59, a trekker still taking public transportation. Fame in New York lasts as long as yesterday’s publicity release. Nowadays it’s almost always connected with publicists, money, some pitch ...
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