Cleveland's Harbinger Records Wins 2017 Grammy
While they didn’t receive the red carpet treatment afforded music’s biggest stars, a Cleveland based record label had plenty to celebrate when the 59th annual Grammy Awards were given out earlier this month.
Harbinger Records, which was founded in 1983 by Bill Rudman and Ken Bloom, specializes in showcasing the Great American Songbook. The label is now a subsidiary of The Musical Theater Project, for which Rudman serves as artistic director.
Harbinger’s Grammy came for “Best Liner Notes,” which Bloom co-wrote with Richard Carlin for the recording, Sissle and Blake Sing Shuffle Along. The 1921 all-black musical comedy “Shuffle Along” was the most successful Broadway show of its time. The work by composers Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle helped transform Broadway in the way it approached romance between African-Americans onstage as well as where they could sit in the theatre.
The Harbinger Records release features a mix of pieces by the original cast members, as well as the composers themselves, performing the show’s songs in 1950.
To hear how “Shuffle Along” helped change Broadway, as well as the deep digging Harbinger Records had to undertake to find the material for the recording, tune in to 90.3 FM Friday at 1:33 p.m. and 1:52 p.m. during Here and Now featuring the Sound of Applause.