Black music has been an international force since the Fisk Jubilee
Singers, a gospel group from Nashville, Tennessee conquered Europe in 1873. Yet it was only 29 years ago the Black Music Association (BMA) persuaded the U.S. government to recognize Black Music Month.
In June 1979, around the time the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” was being released; Kenny Gamble led a delegation to the White House to discuss with President Jimmy Carter the state of Black music. At the meeting, Carter asked trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and drummer Max Roach if they would perform “Salt Peanuts”, to which Gillespie replied that he’d only do so if the President (who made a fortune as a peanut farmer) provided the vocals.