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Langston Hughes

James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1901 – May 22, 1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri. One of the earliest innovators of the literary art form called jazz poetry, Hughes is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance. He famously wrote about the period that "the Negro was in vogue", which was later paraphrased as "when Harlem was in vogue."

Growing up in a series of Midwestern towns, Hughes became a prolific writer at an early age. He moved to New York City as a young man, where he made his career. He graduated from high school in Cleveland, Ohio, and soon began studies at Columbia University in New York City. Although he dropped out, he gained notice from New York publishers, first in The Crisis magazine and then from book publishers, and became known in the creative community in Harlem. He eventually graduated from Lincoln University. In addition to poetry, Hughes wrote plays and short stories. He also published several nonfiction works. From 1942 to 1962, as the civil rights movement was gaining traction, he wrote an in-depth weekly column in a leading black newspaper, The Chicago Defender.

Birth and Death Data: Born February 1, 1902 (Joplin), Died May 22, 1967 (New York City)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1927 - 1947

Roles Represented in DAHR: lyricist, author

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-45187 10-in. 5/29/1928 Shake your brown feet, honey! Lawrence Tibbett Male vocal solo, with piano author  
Victor D7VB-0439 10-in. 1/28/1947 Moon-faced and starry-eyed Murray Arnold ; Freddy Martin Orchestra Male vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist  
Victor D7VB-0440 10-in. 1/28/1947 What good would the moon be? Freddy Martin Orchestra ; Stuart Wade Male vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist  
Brunswick E22064 10-in. 3/22/1927 Hootin' owl blues Dolly Ross Female vocal solo, with saxophone, piano, and chimes lyricist  
Brunswick E22062-E22063 10-in. 3/22/1927 Hootin’ owl blues Dolly Ross Female vocal solo, with instrumental trio lyricist  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Hughes, Langston," accessed May 20, 2024,

Hughes, Langston. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 20, 2024, from

"Hughes, Langston." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 20 May 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier


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