White, Josh

White, (Joshua Daniel) Josh

(1915–69) blues/gospel/folk singer, guitarist; born in Greenville, S.C. As a child he learned from street singers in the southeast and Chicago; he soon joined in with street evangelists and gospel singers and became a prodigious guitarist. At age 13 he recorded with Blind Joe Taggart. In the 1930s he recorded such blues and gospel songs as "There's a Man Goin' Around Taking Names" (1933). In 1939 he formed his own group, the Josh White Singers. A favorite of President Franklin Roosevelt, he performed at the White House. In New York City in the 1940s he appeared in several musicals such as John Henry (1940) and A Long Way from Home (1948). In the 1950s he performed with his group, the Carolinas, and with such artists as Woody Guthrie and Paul Robeson. In moving between gospel/blues and folk music and between the white and black worlds, he prefigured a whole generation of other African-American musicians.