Langston Hughes

The recording career of this great American writer includes not only his own spoken word collections for Smithsonian-Folkways but many instances where his texts are utilized by other artists, sometimes in direct collaboration with Hughes and at other times after the fact. While heavily associated with black jazz and blues, the writings of Hughes have not shown up exclusively in these genres. Rather, if there is a similarity in the type of performers willing to pull a Hughes tome off the shelf, it would be those expressing discontent with the racial and political status quo. The beatnik scene of the '50s and '60s was a typical topical time for Hughes, yet again the appearance of his writings as part of recording projects is hardly limited to these years.