Friday, December 9, 2011

A Man Responsible for Two Very Big Firsts

Ernest Hogan worked up a song in 1896 that is considered by some to be the basis of the first rock 'n' roll record ever made. He would go on in 1907 to become the first African-American to produce and star in a Broadway show, The Oyster Man.

Throw in Hogan's crucial contributions to the creation of ragtime and some late-life regret over the fact that his aforementioned million-selling composition was titled “All Coons Look Alike to Me,” and it provides a fertile documentary canvas. Such an effort is now underway at the hands of Western Kentucky University students Ben Severance and Dillon Ward.

A Bowling Green native

The pair tell the Bowling Green News that they hope to complete their 20-minute film by next spring and will be traveling over the Christmas holidays to some of the Northeast locations once frequented by Hogan. On the project's website, they also explain how they came to know of Hogan's almost forgotten feats:
We first heard about Hogan in Dr. Pam Johnson’s journalism class at Western Kentucky University. From there we began to look for more information about this fascinating man who seemed to have been passed over by history. After a few late nights huddled in the library pouring over what references of Hogan we could find, we were hooked.

If all goes well, Severance and Ward hope to eventually turn the whole thing into a feature.

No comments:

Post a Comment