Gotham-Attucks Music was founded through the merger of two companies, The Gotham Music Publishing Company and the Attucks Music Publishing Company.
The Gotham Music Publishing Company was founded by R.C. McPherson (known under the pseudonym Cecil Mack) in 1904. The Attucks Music Publishing Company (named for Crispus Attucks, the first person killed in the American Revolution) deposited their first composition for copyright in August 1904. Its manager was Shepard N. Edmonds. By 1905 Edmonds appears to have been dismissed by the company and started his own, Shepard N. Edmonds Music Publishing Company at 47 West 28th Street in New York in 1905.
The merged company, Gotham-Attucks Music, deposited their first publication in June 1905. Many of their publications were by African Americans, though not exclusively. Unlike the negative portrayal of African Americans from most other publishers, Gotham-Attucks eschewed such stereotypes and simply marketed their material as songs, which at the time was revolutionary. Obtaining skilled artists to produce attractive cover art, they were able to be a part of the market for popular songs.
The company ran smoothly until 1911 when it was purchased by Ferdinand E. Mierisch. A "song-sharker," Mierisch would induce songwriters to get published by him for a fee. Since the money was coming from the creators, Mierisch had no incentive to promote the music. The company effectively ended by May 1912 when Mierisch set up his own company, Ferd. E. Mierisch Music Publisher, at 1547 Broadway. His firm folded soon thereafter.
Attucks Publishing Company:
Gotham Music Publishing Company:
Gotham-Attucks did not use plate numbers.
|Cook||Bon Bon Buddy||1907|
|Cook||In Bandanna Lan'||1907|
|Williams||Fas', Fas' World||1907|
|Lemonier||The Sheath Gown in Darktown||1908|
|Cook||Red Red Rose||1908|
Shirley, Wayne D. "The House of Melody: A List of Publications of the Gotham-Attucks Music Company at the Library of Congress," The Black Perspective in Music 15, no. 1 (Spring 1987), p. 79-112. (access via JSTOR with subscription)