"HE PUT A SONG IN MY SOUL TODAY": FIRST EDITION OF TAMBOURINES TO GLORY, WONDERFULLY INSCRIBED IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION BY LANGSTON HUGHES
HUGHES, Langston. Tambourines to Glory. New York: John Day, (1958). Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket.
First edition of Hughes' landmark novel, conceived as a play and ultimately produced on Broadway, a memorable presentation copy warmly inscribed at length by him in the year of publication with special mention of his gospel songs: "Inscribed especially for Charles Doyle, with a hearty welcome to our U.S.A.--Sincerely, Langston Hughes San Francisco, December 5, 1958, Note: My gospel songs from this book are recorded under same title, Folkways Record LP-FG-3538."
In Tambourines to Glory, Hughes' story of a Harlem storefront church, he achieved his goal of a "theatre of celebration, which presents models for African Americans and entertainment for general audiences without compromising political principles. He also reaffirmed that Black music and humor could be effective masks of social protest" (Langston Hughes, Folk Dramatist, 170). Originally drafted as a play by Hughes in the early 1950s, he ultimately issued the unproduced play as a novel, "which prompted the interest of Broadway producers. They brought it to New York in 1963, where its Broadway opening featured gospel singer Clara Ward as Birdie Lie… and Louis Gossett as Big-Eyed Buddy Lomax" (McLaren in Bloom, Langston Hughes, 84-5). Once criticized by members of the Black church, it is now "considered to be among Hughes' best plays and the crowning glory of his dramatic career" (Nelson, ed, African American Dramatists, 241). Bruccoli & Clark, 165. Blockson 6533. While the recipient's identity remains unconfirmed, Hughes' inscription speaks to what appears to have been a fascinating conversation with Charles Doyle, a newcomer to the U.S., and his interest interest in gospel music.
A splendid inscribed copy in fine condition.