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date: 31 March 2020

Duncan, Todd locked

(12 February 1903–27 February 1998)
  • James Ross Moore


Duncan, Todd (12 February 1903–27 February 1998), singer and teacher, was born Robert Todd Duncan in Danville, Kentucky, the son of John Duncan, a garage owner, and Lettie Cooper Duncan, a music teacher. Duncan's B.A. (1925) came from Butler University; his M.A. (1930) from Columbia University's Teachers College.

Duncan taught music at the University of Louisville's Municipal College for Negroes from 1926 to 1929. While working on his master's degree, he studied voice with Sara Lee, Edward Lippo, and Sidney Dietch. In 1931 Duncan took a position at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where before retiring in 1945 he became head of the public school music and professional voice departments.

Duncan's singing career blossomed after a one-night, all–African-American production of Cavalleria Rusticana at New York s Mecca Temple in 1934 the year he married Gladys Jackson They had one child and remained married until Duncan s ...

A version of this article originally appeared in American National Biography.

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