African-American Sheet Music, 1850-1920


  • Timeline
    • 1865-1910

Browse Collection by:

View more collections from the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition

Links marked * go to Web pages at the awardee institution.

Collection Connection
Classroom resources for teachers

The Development of an African-American Musical Theatre 1865-1910


James A. Bland

Beginning in the late 1870s, composer and performer James A. Bland appeared with several different minstrel troupes, and composed songs still widely known today. His "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" is today the state song of Virginia. Other songs composed by Bland that are still frequently heard include "Oh, Dem Golden Slippers" and "In the Evening by the Moonlight."


Cover of sheet music

descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  [Detail] "Close dem windows: the great end song." Words and music by James Bland. 1879.