Two pieces of sheet music—Mirandy and On Patrol in No Man’s Land—as performed by the 360th U.S. Infantry Harlem "Hell Fighters” Band. Noble Sissle Lieutenants James “Jim” Europe, Eubie Blake.

Two pieces of sheet music—Mirandy and On Patrol in No Man’s Land—as performed by the 360th U.S. Infantry Harlem "Hell Fighters” Band

New York: New York: Jos. W. Stern and M. Witmark respectively, 1919. Unbound.

Both pieces of sheet music measure 9.25” x 12.25”. Four pages each including the covers. The cover of Mirandy features a large portrait half-tone photo of Jim Europe in uniform and a smaller cameo of Noble Sissel. The cover of On Patrol in No Man’s Land features the same image (but smaller) of Europe and a panoramic image of the “Hell Fighters” Band. Both pieces of music are in nice shape with some light minor soiling. Two collaborations of giants in African-American music who all served together in World War One in Harlem’s 369th Infantry Regiment. Very good. Item #009378

James Reese Europe, the leader of the Hell Fighter’s Band, was the most important black musician of the early 1900s. In 1910, Europe organized the 1 Clef Clu, a society of for black musicians, and in 1912 its 125-member orchestra made history when it performed a concert at Carnegie Hall for the benefit of the Colored Music Settlement School. It was the first band to play proto-jazz at Carnegie, 24 years before Benny Goodman’s famed performance and 12 years before Whiteman and Gershwin played at Aeolian Hall.

During World War One, Europe obtained a National Guard commission in the 360th and led its band traveling over 2,000 miles to perform for American, British, and French soldiers as well as French civilians. Nobel Sissle and Eubie Blake were equally important African-American composers and musicians who helped Europe form the Hell Fighters Band.

Unfortunately, shortly after Europe returned from World War I, he was stabbed to death by a drummer in his band during a concert performance in Boston. Sissle and Blake, who had become a formidable Vaudeville duo, went on to compose Shuffle Along, one of the first African-American musicals to be performed on Broadway, and usher in the golden age of the Harlem Renaissance.

Exceptionally scarce. As of 2019, no other examples are for sale in the trade. OCLC shows no institutions holding copies of either, however examples of No Man’s Land are in collections at the Library of Congress, Brown University, the New York State Archives, and the National Library of Australia. It appears that Mirandy is only found at the Maryland Historical Society. Rare Book Hub shows no auction records for No Man’s Land and only one for Mirandy, a 2008 Swann auction.

Price: $1,800.00