A folk legend and a tremendous Michigan resource
Josh White Jr. recently celebrated his 75th year as a show business professional. He has carried his message of positivity, spirituality, love, peace, and social commitment around the world, performing for presidents, kings and queens, the Pope, for the poorest of poor in their earthen homes and for children everywhere. In the 1940s, as a child star born into a celebrated family, he performed for Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt (his godmother) and for the armed forces, and shared stages with Kate Smith, Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger, Frank Sinatra, Ethel Walters, Woody Guthrie, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Dorothy Gish, Duke Ellington, and Lead Belly. His mother was a gospel singer, and his father, Josh White Sr., with whom he began performing at the age of three in 1944, introduced the world to folk, blues, and spirituals. Josh Sr. was the first solo folk and blues artist to make a national concert hall tour of America, and the first to tour overseas. His son, who moved to Detroit in 1976 and is a priceless Michigan resources, is carrying on a very deep tradition.