Waco native Julius Bledsoe was among the first African Americans to appear on Broadway. The baritone who first performed the song “Ol’ Man River” in the classic musical Show Boat was once described as “a singer who can pick the heart right out your body—if you don’t look out." Bledsoe was a composer as well. His song cycle African Suite premiered in Amsterdam in 1936, and he wrote an opera based on the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. Bledsoe died in 1943; his tombstone is inscribed with a line from the song that made him a star—"He just keeps rollin' along." More»
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