Two Black Crows – Moran & Mack

Black face comedians Moran & Mack parodying African-American vernacular in their hugely popular ‘Two Black Crows’ series from 1926 – 1929.

“As a description of their complexions and a tribute to their fidelity they were known in Buford as the Two Black Crows. They were not akin to each other, and they had been ushered into the world under names in nowise resembling ‘Crow’. The name was wished upon them by farmers whose cornfields had suffered at their hands.”

Extract from ‘Two Black Crows In The A.E.F.’, by Charles E. Mack (1928).

From page 33 of ‘Our Place Our Music, Aboriginal Music: Australian Popular Music In Perspective Volume 2’, 1989:

“There were lots of stories that they told too, that had morals for us – even some of the Aboriginal legends. We also knew ‘Little Alabama Coon’, but I changed the words as I grew up, to ‘Mummy’s Little Aborigine’…There were old wind-up gramophones that came out for parties. My Dad had one of those very old ones with the cylinders. Us kids used to think it was great fun to sit there and wind it and listen to the music. Often it was classical music, like ‘Liebestraum’, ‘Waltz of the Flowers’, Enrico Caruso. There were records like ‘Two Black Crows’ (an old comedy in Minstrel Show style) and ‘Polly-Wolly-Doodle’ – people sang along with them. And there were the early country and western singers: Tex Morton, Smilin’ Billy Blinkhorn, Smoky Dawson, Gene Autry, Burl Ives and Hank Snow.”

-Ngarrindjeri woman D Leila Rankine reminiscing about her experiences growing up on the Point McLeay mission on Lake Alexandrina, South Australia.

Sound files of the original recordings can be found here:


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