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Howell, Horsley and Bradford
Harry WillisHarry Wills, The Champion” is an very interesting protest song about an African American boxer who was active in the 1910s and 1920s. The undefeated Harry Wills (42-0) was slated to fight Jack Dempsey in November of 1924 for the heavyweight title of the world, but the bout was canceled denying Wills a shot at becoming the second African American to hold the title.

The chorus of this song goes something like this, “Harry though they draw the colored line you’re the champion just the same. They way they all fuss and stall is a doggone, measly shame. Everybody knows what you would do would be to bang on him till he’s dark blue. Harry though they draw the colored line you’re the champion just the same”


Title Recording Date Recording Location Company
Harry Wills, The Champion
(Perry Bradford / Walton)
10-4-1926 New York, New York Columbia
Wasn’t It Nice
(Jackson / Gus Horsley)
10-4-1926 New York, New York Columbia

Howell, Horsley and Bradford

Artist Instrument
Perry Bradford Vocals, Piano?
Gus Horsley Vocals, Ukelele?
George Howell? Vocals was a pioneering website during the "Information wants to be Free" era of the 1990s. In that spirit we are recovering the lost data from the now defunct site and sharing it with you.
Most of the music in the archive is in the form of MP3s hosted on or the French servers of where this music is all in the public domain.
Files unavailable from those sources we host ourselves. They were made from original 78 RPM records in the hands of private collectors in the 1990s who contributed to the original They were hosted as .ra files originally and we have converted them into the more modern MP3 format. They are of inferior quality to what is available commercially and are intended for reference purposes only. In some cases a Real Audio (.ra) file from will download. Don't be scared! Those files will play in many music programs, but not Windows Media Player.

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