Charleston Sheet Music

The Charleston
1923
Lyrics by Cecil Mack (R.C. McPherson) - Music by James P Johnson


This song was introduced to America by Elizabeth Welch in the all-Black musical, Runnin' Wild. James P Johnson's music for the song is said to be inspired by the music brought to New York by South Carolina dockworkers that Johnson played for almost ten years before. Cecil Mack's lyrics are seldom heard though Mack was an accomplished lyricist who had been involved with the first Black owned music publishing company, Gotham Attucks, at the beginning of the 20th Century. The Charleston dance changed America in many ways and became the anthem of the Jazz Age.


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