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Black Music History Month: The First Black-Owned Label

Black Music History Month: The First Black-Owned Label

black swan records

As of this month, we continue to celebrate black music history. 

The celebration of history and how much music has affected our lives. Telling our stories, a story filled with sadness and fight to those who would listen. 

With this history, we remember what ancestors have done to get to where we are today. While there is still a long way to go, there are many things we honor when it comes to music. 

In the ‘20s music was huge. And with this was the introduction to records, a hot and hip item anyone who can afford needed. 

Throughout this history, black music also had a hit. A moment of “race media” was a hit almost rare item, when it was finally promoted. The first blues record sold over 100,000 copies, a trending item that audiences begged for more. And more they got. But while these items were sold and black music was heard nationwide, that artists were still segregated. 

You can read more about race records here. An article where you can learn and see how popular black music became, but did not change the unfairness they have suffered as artists that trended. 

The History Of Black Swan Records

The reason why there was so much unfairness was that mostly all labels were white. But not all were: Black Swan Records became a successful black-owned recording label during that time. The creator: Harry Pace. 

Harry Pace was a music publisher. As a man who knows music, his label began to produce jazz, blues, and classical music. Within his time on the label, he helped produce about 150 race records. The music produced became worldwide hits, but the luck ran out. 

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race records

In 1922, Olympic Race Records became a part of Black Swan. As a much bigger label, they continued to produced music, until they continued to produce white people’s music as well. With this slowly losing the independence as a black label for black musicians. In the end, they were forced to declare bankruptcy and were purchased by Paramount. 

While the label was short-lived. As the first black-owned label that did not adhere to the unfairness of that time. They took their time to promote, create, and helped artists become successful.  

While at a disadvantage in a white world, our music and our voice were finally being heard.

You can read more here.  

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