Artists and Historical Information Uncovered
· Louis Armstrong, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, and Cab Calloway all owned Black teams
· The Harlem Renaissance
· Jackie Robinson
· Lionel Hampton
· Satchel Paige
· Nat King Cole – first Black to have own TV show and national radio program
· Bert Williams – star with Ziegfeld Follies
· Negro League East/West All-star game
· Paul Robeson, Communist Party and Black Press spearheaded integration of baseball
· Country music legend Charlie Pride played in the Negro Leagues
· Travel was rough for player & musicians
· Camaraderie of players and musicians
· The Women of the Negro Leagues
· The influence of jazz & blues
JAZZ & COCKTAILS
HITMAKERS, HEROES & HOMERUNS
Byron's one-man musical show tribute to the Negro Baseball Leagues
Byron Motley is a multi-talented artist from Los Angeles. As a singer he has received critical acclaim for his soulful performances both nationally and in Europe as well as Latin America.
A sought after session singer, Byron can be heard on several jingles and recordings throughout the United States, Japan & Europe. He has also performed and recorded with such luminaries as Natalie Cole, Dionne Warwick, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Donna Summer, Melissa Ethridge, Barry Manilow, Kelly Clarkson, and John Legend. He performed on Broadway alongside Patti LuPone in the acclaimed show “Patti LuPone On Broadway”, and on several motion picture soundtracks.
Byron holds a Master’s degree in Music from the University of Southern California, and has been a featured soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra on three separate occasions under the baton of renowned conductor/composer John Williams.
**Stage Plot Diagram and Tech Specs
(click PDF below)
Inspired by an upcoming television documentary being produced by Byron Motley, this exciting musical performance Hitmakers, Heroes & Homeruns is a unique presentation of music and baseball. Stories of Negro League players intertwine with those of some of our greatest musicians. During this segregated period in American history they traveled the same roads, stayed in the same hotels, ate at the same restaurants, and were inspired by each other’s professions. This performance demonstrates that for the African-American community, the Negro Leagues and the music of that period were important social, cultural and economical developments for all Americans.
The story is placed in historical context examining five decades of music and events, from the turn of the century performances of vaudevillian Bert Williams to the historic signing of Jackie Robinson into the major leagues in 1947 and the emergence of the artistry of Nat King Cole. The show also relates commonly known historical moments to provide the audience with a time frame of reference.
The performance is presented in a multi-media format utilizing video clips, slides, and interview sound bites (from the forth-coming documentary), which add an emotional element that further connects the audience with this history. An intricate part of this show is the inclusion of the personal accounts of the men and women who were an integral part of this history.
A modern day Renaissance man.