The Rise and Fall of Black Swan Records


Manage episode 295913983 series 1297243
بواسطة Radio Diaries & Radiotopia and Radio Diaries، اكتشفه Player FM ومجتمعنا ـ حقوق الطبع والنشر مملوكة للناشر وليس لـPlayer FM، والصوت يبث مباشرة من خوادمه. اضغط زر الاشتراك لمتابعة التحديثات في Player FM، أو ألصق رابط التغذية الراجعة في أي تطبيق بودكاست آخر.

One hundred years ago, in 1921, a man named Harry Pace started the first major Black-owned record company in the United States. He called it Black Swan Records.

In an era when few Black musicians were recorded, the company was revolutionary. It launched the careers of Ethel Waters, Fletcher Henderson, William Grant Still, Alberta Hunter and other influential artists who transformed American music.

But Black Swan’s success would be short-lived. Just a couple years after Pace founded the company, larger, wealthier, white competitors started to take an interest in the artists whose careers Pace had propelled. Then, Pace’s own life took a mysterious turn.


This episode of Radio Diaries has support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and The Lily Auchincloss Foundation.

We are a proud member of Radiotopia, a network of creators who are able to follow their curiosity and tell the stories they care about the most. Show your support for Radiotopia during our Spring Fundraiser. Donate today at

189 حلقات