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Noble Sissle

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Noble Sissle (July 10, 1889, Indianapolis, Indiana – December 17, 1975, Tampa, Florida) was an American jazz composer, lyricist, bandleader, singer and playwright.

Noble Sissle sang several vocals on the last album recorded by James Reese Europe, conductor of the 369th Infantry Regiment (United States) “Harlem Hellfighters” Band, recorded and released in March 1919. He also accompanied the band on the tour that continued through May, 1919, and was given charge of the band by Europe, who died that night, May 9, 1919, to continue to the next stop on that tour.

Sissle is noted for his collaboration with songwriter, Eubie Blake. The pair first performed in vaudeville and later produced the musicals Shuffle Along and The Chocolate Dandies. Sissle is also, famously, the only African-American artist to appear in the Pathé film archives.

Shortly after World War I, Sissle joined forces with performer Eubie Blake to form a vaudeville music duo, “The Dixie Duo”. After vaudeville, the pair began work on a musical revue, Shuffle Along, which incorporated many songs they had written, and had a book written by F. E. Miller and Aubrey Lyles. When it premiered in 1921, Shuffle Along became the first hit musical on Broadway written by and about African Americans. The musicals also introduced hit songs such as “I’m Just Wild About Harry” and “Love Will Find a Way.”

In 1923, Sissle made two films for Lee DeForest in DeForest’s Phonofilm sound-on-film process.

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