American Composer Zenobia Powell Perry:  Race and Gender in
the 20th Century
by Jeannie Gayle Pool

Zenobia Powell Perry (1908-1993) was a composer whose life provides insight to a
special time in the 1920s and '30s when black American composers were finally
being recognized for their unique contributions to the country's music. Born in Boley,
Oklahoma to a black father and a black Creek Indian mother, Zenobia was
influenced by both black American and native American folklore, music, language,
and poetry.

American Composer Zenobia Powell Perry: Race and Gender in the 20th Century,
Jeannie Gayle Pool examines the life of this talented individual who faced
tremendous challenges as a female, as an African American, and as a woman of
mixed heritage. Based on interviews conducted by the author, as well as Perry's
personal papers, correspondence, and scores, Pool provides a rich portrait of this
unique composer. Pool also provides an analysis of Perry's musical style, a
chronology, a complete list of works, and several appendices. Raising many
complex and unresolved issues related to American blacks with Native American
heritage, Perry's life story bears witness to a century in which tremendous strides
were made toward equality for all.

Published by Scarecrow Press, 2008.


"The book's best feature is that, thanks to many years of acquaintance, Pool is able
to let Zenobia Powell Perry speak in her own voice, giving readers the impression
that they truly are getting to know her." (
The Triangle Of Mu Phi Epsilon, Winter 2010)

"Pool's biography of Zenobia Powell Perry is an important addition to the literature
about women composers, as well as race and music, and is highly recommended
for both public and academic libraries. Pool's informative and thought-provoking
biography is based heavily on primary resources, including interviews conducted by
Pool, Perry's personal papers, correspondence, and manuscript scores." (
, October 2009)

"Jeannie Gayle Pool’s new book is a fascinating biography of a little-known
composer and pianist....a welcome addition to the dearth of scholarship concerning
Zenobia Powell Perry....Pool’s absorbing re-telling of this uniquely American story
should encourage many performers – and scholars – to explore and further
disseminate the wealth of Zenobia Powell Perry’s compositions." (
Association for
Recorded Sound Collections Journal (ARSC Journal

Los Angeles composer and musicologist Jeannie Gayle Pool met Zenobia
Powell Perry in 1979 and became her biographer and publisher (Jaygayle
Music, ASCAP). The biography,
American Composer Zenobia Powell Perry:
Race and Gender in the 20th Century
, was published in 2008 (Scarecrow

Jeannie is also an internationally-recognized expert on film music history and
served as a consultant and archivist to Paramount Pictures Motion Picture
Music Department from 1995 until 2012 where she has preserved the studio’s
extensive music collection, including scores and parts for classic Hollywood
films. In 2011, she re-created and produced the original music score by J.S.
Zamecnik for Wings (1927) for Paramount 100th anniversary, which is shown
on Turner Classics often and available on DVD and compact disc. She holds a
Ph.D. in musicology from the Claremont Graduate University and is the author
Peggy Gilbert & Her All-Girl Band (Scarecrow Press, 2008) about Hollywood
saxophone player and band leader who worked professionally into her late
nineties.  Jeannie’s documentary of the same title is narrated by Lily Tomlin
and has been screened across the United States. An officer of the Board of the
American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers, her compositions for
orchestra and chamber ensembles have been performed throughout the
United States, Canada, Europe, and in China.

All rights reserved. ©Jeannie Gayle Pool, 2014.