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How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em
Down On The Farm
Lt. James Reese Europe's
369th "Hellfighters" Jazz Band
Feat. Noble Sissle
This record was made in New York City in March of 1919 by the "369th "Hellfighters" Jazz Band" led by James Reese Europe, with featured vocalist Noble Sissle.
*"How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm?" was written by Walter Donaldson.
The song's lyrics question if American black men returning from the battlefields overseas especially from "Paree" would readily settle back to the toils of farm life once more after tasting equality abroad. Broadway lights and jazz clubs would certainly be far more alluring and thus the song took on a political significance when performed by African-Americans. It became incredibly popular when introduced in early 1919. Many recorded it with the top selling versions being sung by Nora Bayes and Arthur Fields. Europe's musicians were not the only black group to record the song at the time, Ford Dabney's band committed their own to disc and cylinder just weeks later.
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