Back in 1967, Bobbie Gentry sang a haunting ode to young love and sad endings in the deep South called "Ode to Billie Joe." A year later, Gentry released a country-rock opera, "The Delta Sweete." It hardly sold at all — but has since become a cult classic.
Paul Simon had a No. 1 song, John Lennon's solo project was climbing the charts, The Clash played their first show in the U.S., the Beatles first landed in the U.S., and Shocking Blue's "Venus" goes No. 1, Today in Music History.
America's relationships with slavery, the civil rights movement and modern race-based challenges aren't the only things to think about for Black History Month. Members of the African diaspora have contributed to classical music since there was a "classical music." Here are nine notable performances of black pieces of music to explore.