D.C. Music Salon: Joyce Bryant

Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library

D.C. Music Salon: Joyce Bryant

Joyce BryantWednesday, June 15, 7:00 p.m.

"The black Marilyn Monroe," "The bronze blond bombshell, "the voice you'll always remember," Joyce Bryant was a singer/celebrity all of us would have known in the 1950s. With her sexy skintight gowns, metallic-silver hair, incredible voice and "pioneering stances against racial discrimination," it's shocking she's not better remembered.

Joyce Bryant's story is a case-study of how popular culture's "celebrity machine" shapes who we remember -- and who we forget. We’ll show excerpts from Joyce Bryant: The Lost Diva, the first feature-length documentary film about one of D.C. — and America's — “most enigmatic entertainers.” Jim Byers — music critic, WPFW radio host — will discuss his film and help answer other questions about Bryant: Why were her records banned? Who cut her from the Hollywood films she made? What forced her to give up her career? How did she reappear as a leading lady in the New York City Opera? Why don't more people know Joyce Bryant?

D.C. Music Salon is a free film and book series about different topics related to music, featuring discussions with expert guests. We show films and have discussions with musicians, filmmakers, authors and other fellow music lovers. These aren’t lectures, and all are welcome to join the conversation. Most meetings start with a quick introduction of a guest or topic, then show appropriate footage; we may discuss a relevant book and likely ask questions of the expert guests. Washington, D.C., especially the Shaw neighborhood, has a musical heritage second to none, and our salon celebrates it. All are encouraged to attend. 

We usually meet the second Wednesday of even months, 7-9 p.m., at the beautiful, new Watha T. Daniel Library in Shaw, 1630 7th St. N.W. Our previous programs Go GoHoward Theatre, Nightclub 9:30 and Duke Ellington have drawn big crowds and been well received by The Washington Post, Washington City Paper, TBD.com and others. Upcoming programs include August 10 — Ska Dance Craze and October 12 — DC space.