The Story of Blind Tom Wiggins

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Who was the most famous pianist of the 19th century? Was it Franz Liszt or Anton Rubinstein or Frederic Chopin? Actually, it may have been “Blind Tom” Wiggins, a black slave born on a Georgia plantation in 1849. His owner discovered that Blind Tom was a piano prodigy who could immediately play back any song he heard. Bethune put Tom out on tour when he was still a child, and, at age 10, Tom was the first African American to perform at the White House.

Credits

Guest:
Jeffery Renard Allen - Author "Song of the Shank"

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Andrew Walsh, Christian Bordal, Matt Holzman, Jolie Myers, Anna Scott