Music, School of
Date of this Version
Hogan, "The Unbleached American" in the moniker he adopted, was a comedian, singer, dancer, actor, composer, lyricist, and author. Hogan is right up at the top among the greatest figures in African American musical theater of his generation, including Billy Johnson (1858-1916), Billy McClain (1866-1950), Bob Cole (1868-1911), George Walker (1872-1911), and Bert Williams (1874-1922).
In his lifetime, he was called "the father of ragtime" or "the father of ragtime music," and recognized as the originator of this kind of music. He was "the 'king' of negro comedians" (Indianapolis Freeman, August 31, 1901, p. 5). He was "the greatest comedy star actor of his race" acc. Sylvester Russell's obit. Biggest solo act to emerge before Dudley and Harrison Stewart. The first major African American stage performer to carry a big show by himself, rather than as part of a comedy team; he nonetheless often played as one of a team in partnership with prominent comedians such as Billy McClain, John Ruckers, etc. but it was important to him that he "realized one of his pet ambitions---to be the only colored star in a big musical comedy" in Rufus Rastus and Oyster Man (Walton obit.).
Copyright (c) 2016 Peter M. Lefferts
This document is one in a series---"Chronology and Itinerary of the Career of"- --devoted to a small number of African American musicians active ca. 1900- 1950. They are fallout from my work on a pair of essays, "US Army Black Regimental Bands and The Appointments of Their First Black Bandmasters" (2013) and "Black US Army Bands and Their Bandmasters in World War I" (2012). In all cases I have put into some kind of order a number of biographical research notes, principally drawing upon newspaper and genealogy databases. None of them is any kind of finished, polished document; all represent work in progress, complete with missing data and the occasional typographical error. I invite queries, amplifications, and corrections, which may be directed to email@example.com. The present document is a first draft of July 2016.