Book Description: Songs of the Unsung is the autobiography of Los Angeles jazz musician and activist Horace Tapscott (1934â€“1999). A pianist who ardently believed in the power of music to connect people, Tapscott was a beloved and influential character who touched many yet has remained unknown to the majority of Americans. In addition to being â€śhisâ€ť story, Songs of the Unsung is the story of Los Angelesâ€™s cultural and political evolution over the last half of the twentieth century, of the origins of many of the most important avant-garde musicians still on the scene today, and of a rich and varied body of music. Tapscottâ€™s narrative covers his early life in segregated Houston, his move to California in 1943, life as a player in the Air Force band in the early fifties, and his travels with the Lionel Hampton Band. He reflects on how the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (the â€śArkâ€ť), an organization he founded in 1961 to preserve and spread African and African-American music, eventually became the Union of Godâ€™s Musicians and Artists Ascensionâ€”a group that not only performed musically but was active in the civil rights movement, youth education, and community programs. Songs of the Unsung also includes Tapscottâ€™s vivid descriptions of the Watts neighborhood insurrection of 1965 and the L.A. upheavals of 1992, interactions with both the Black Panthers and the L.A.P.D., his involvement in Motownâ€™s West Coast scene, the growth of his musical reputation abroad, and stories about many of his musician-activist friends, including Billy Higgins, Don Cherry, Buddy Collette, Arthur Blythe, Lawrence and Wilber Morris, Linda Hill, Elaine Brown, Stanley Crouch, and Sun Ra. With a foreword by Steven Isoardi, a brief introduction by actor William Marshall, a full discography of Tapscottâ€™s recordings, and many fine photographs, Songs of the Unsung is the inspiring story of one of Americaâ€™s most unassuming twentieth-century heroes.