Please be advised, … this website has been created as a scholarly resource, it is not intended to offend, insult or defame any person, persons, or groups or persons, in any means, or in any manner, whatsoever. However, it is impossible to attempt to archive much of the original sheet music of this particular musical period without also confronting (and utilizing) the horrid terminology of its day; terminology which was promoted, embraced and tolerated by composers, entertainers and aficionados alike, be they black, white or in between.
Should you feel unable to look beyond the offensive terminology of those days, such as “coon”, “shine”, “nigger”, “yaller”, “pickaninny”, “darkie” and the like, then you may also find it too emotionally difficult to digest the historical content as cataloged by the editors of this website.
And yes, even with such offensiveness hanging right over our heads, it really is a shame, … because then, you might also be too bothered to consider visiting the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, or the Whitney Plantation as well. The real truth of the matter is, we must all be willing to face, confront and digest our horrific past in order to help ensure we work toward a better tomorrow for ourselves and all the generations to follow.
Now, if we’ve already offended you, we sincerely do apologize and we genuinely wish you well.
But for those who choose to read on, do be advised, this site exists solely to provide an educational and historical reflection of a horrid musical practice which existed primarily between 1865 and 1930, primarily in the United States, but in other English-speaking nations across the globe as well.
This scholarly undertaking intends to demonstrate that, … just as the tasty mushroom can flourish in a bed of manure-laden filth, so too can the expansion of various original musical art forms, including African-American folk songs, ragtime, jazz, and the blues, all of which share a common connection to the most vile of all planting beds, one which allowed for the cultivation and propagation of what will be forever known as the “Coon Song”.
We invite your perusal and we truly appreciate your patient indulgence as the construction of this valuable reference work continues.