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Alfred B. Spellman (born August 12, 1935, Nixonton, North Carolina), is an African-American poet, music critic, music historian, arts administrator, and author. He first garnered attention for his 1964 book of poems entitled The Beautiful Days. In 1966 he published a highly influential book on the history of African-American music entitled Four Lives in the Bebop Business (aka Black Music: Four Lives; Random House). From 1975 to 2005 he worked as an Arts Administrator for the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been particularly instrumental in supporting and forwarding jazz music within the United States. Spellman is the son of two teachers and attended P.W. Moore High School in Elizabeth City, North Carolina where he was a member of the basketball team, glee club and oratorical club. After graduating in 1953, he entered Howard University where he was active in the chorus, the Howard Players, and he began his writing career. He graduated in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and then continued with graduate studies in Howard's law school.[3] In 1959, Spellman began a career as a music critic for a number of magazines including Metronome and Down Beat, for which he wrote reviews of jazz music and musicians. In 1964, he published his first book of poems, entitled The Beautiful Days, which was very well received and considerably raised his profile as a writer. His reputation, however, was truly solidified two years later with his first full-lengt..

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