February is Black History Month! We’re excited to spotlight African American musicians throughout the month. Head over to Spotify to listen to the tunes and read on for trivia and tidbits about various songs.

Dizzy Moods by Charles Mingus

Originally recorded in 1957 but not released until June 1962, Dizzy Moods (from the album Tijuana Moods) is referred to as the gold standard album for Charles Mingus. His follow-up album (Money Jungle) is also worth a listen!

When You’re Smiling by Louis Armstrong

With a career that covered 5 decades Louis Daniel Armstrong was among the most influential figures in jazz from the 1920s to the 1960s. While also a bandleader, singer, soloist, film star, and comedian, Louis Armstrong is often given credit for turning jazz music from novelty into fine art.

A Good Man is Hard to Find by Bessie Smith

Originally written in 1917 by African-American songwriter and actor Eddie Green, A Good Man is Hard to Find is regarded as one of the classic blues standards from the Roaring Twenties with many cover versions shortly after its release. Recorded by Bessie Smith is 1928, this version stands alone at the top in comparison as she is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and was a major influence on fellow blues singers, as well as jazz vocalists.