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Sam Lucas

Sam Lucas (August 7, c. 1848 – January 5, 1916) was an African American actor, comedian, singer, and songwriter. Sam Lucas's exact date of birth is disputed. Lucas's year of birth, to freed former slaves, has also been cited as 1839, 1840, 1841, and 1850.

His career began in blackface minstrelsy, but he later became one of the first African Americans to branch out into more serious drama, with roles in seminal works such as The Creole Show and A Trip to Coontown. He was the first black man to portray the role of Uncle Tom on both stage and screen. James Weldon Johnson described him as the "Grand Old Man of the Negro Stage". Despite his beginnings in minstrelsy, he was vocal about liberating himself from the minstrel profession, and was the only composer of spirituals of his time to present them consistently within the context of jubilee concerts.

Birth and Death Data: Born January 1st, 1850, Died January 5th, 1916

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1916 - 1928

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, lyricist, songwriter


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-46396 10-in. 12/17/1928 Ring them heavenly bells Frank McCravy ; James McCravy Male vocal duet, with violin, harmonica, and banjo songwriter  
Columbia 47199 10-in. 11/29/1916 Southern medley Fred Van Eps Banjo solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 47469 10-in. 4/6/1917 Carve dat possum Harry C. Browne ; Peerless Quartet Male vocal solo and male vocal quartet, with banjo and orchestra composer, lyricist  
Columbia 79527 10-in. 11/19/1920 Dars a lock on de chicken coop door Harry C. Browne ; Harmonizers Quartet Male vocal solo and male vocal quartet, with banjo and orchestra composer, lyricist  
OKeh W80961 10-in. 6/2/1927 Every day will be Sunday bye and bye Tom Collins Banjo solo, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Lucas, Sam," accessed November 26, 2020,

Lucas, Sam. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved November 26, 2020, from

"Lucas, Sam." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 26 November 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier



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