The lyricist of classic American popular songs including “In the Mood,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Ain’t Misbehavin,’” and “(What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue,” Andy Razaf (1895-1973) was active on both the literary and the musical fronts of the Harlem Renaissance. Born Andriamanantena Paul Razafinkarefo and descended from the deposed royal family of Merina, later Madagascar, Razaf specialized in the clever double entendre and enjoyed fruitful collaborations with the jazz composers Fats Waller (e.g., “The Joint Is Jumpin’”) and Eubie Blake (e.g., “Memories of You”). Razaf’s militant poetry for Garveyite and black socialist journals brought him to the attention of the FBI in 1919, but his personal file covers only the Cold War year of 1949.
FBI documents studying Andy Razaf.
Material is in the public domain.
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