Praise for That's Got 'Em

That's Got 'Em!: The Life and Music of Wilbur C. Sweatman by Mark Berresford was the given the 2011 ARSC award for Best Historical Research in Recorded Jazz.

Wilbur C. Sweatman (1882–1961) is one of the most important, yet unheralded, African American musicians involved in the transition of ragtime into jazz in the early twentieth century. That’s Got ‘Em! is the first full-length Sweatman biography and follows the performer over a seven-decade career.

Sweatman toured the vaudeville circuit for over twenty years and presented African American music to white music lovers without resorting to “plantation” costumes and blackface makeup. His bands were a fertile breeding ground of young jazz talent, featuring such future stars as Duke Ellington, Coleman Hawkins, and Jimmie Lunceford.
The book also examines in depth the hitherto-unexplored relationship between black minstrelsy, circus sideshow bands, vaudeville, and the early black musical theatre and the pivotal roles they played in the development and dissemination of jazz and blues music. That’s Got ‘Em! is the most thorough account of Sweatman’s life and times

Begun in 1991, the awards are presented to authors and publishers of books, articles, liner notes, and monographs, to recognize outstanding published research in the field of recorded sound. In giving these awards, ARSC recognizes outstanding contributions, encourages high standards, and promotes awareness of superior works. Certificates of Merit are presented to runners-up for works of exceptionally high quality.

Roben Jones’ Memphis Boys: The Story of American Studios (now available in paperback!)was a finalist in the category for Best Research in Record Labels.

Richard Spottswood and Stephen Wade’s Banjo on the Mountain: Wade Mainer’s First Hundred Years was a finalist in the category for Best Historical Research in Recorded Folk, Ethnic, or Country Music.