Waco’s Voice: Jules Bledsoe

On this episode:

Dr. Horace Maxile, Associate Professor of Music Theory at Baylor University, joins us to talk about Jules Bledsoe.
Julius “Jules” Bledsoe’s extraordinary musical talent transcended racial discrimination of the nineteenth century and established him as a pioneer in American music.
Bledsoe was born on December 29, 1897, to Henry and Jessie Bledsoe in Waco. Even as a young child, he loved to sing. Bledsoe first performed publicly at the age of five at New Hope Baptist Church, a church founded by his grandfather in 1866. In 1914, Bledsoe graduated from Central Texas Academy as valedictorian, and travelled to Marshall, Texas, to study liberal arts and music at Bishop College. After graduating magna cum laude in 1918, Bledsoe served as a civilian chaplain for an ROTC program at Virginia Union University in Richmond from 1918 to 1919.

About the show:

The Waco History Podcast is co-hosted by Randy Lane and Dr. Stephen Sloan. Randy Lane is the great-grandson of Waco architect Roy E. Lane. He’s also a former American Forces Network Radio DJ and is currently the host of the High Performance Leadership and Charity Champions Podcasts.

Stephen heads the Oral History Institute at Baylor University. He’s authored several books and created and developed WacoHistory.org, a website and free mobile app for learning more about Waco’s history.

Together they’re telling the known and unknown stories of Waco’s past. 

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About the Waco History Podcast

The Waco History Podcast was started by Randy Lane and Dr. Stephen Sloan. Randy’s great-grandfather was a Roy E. Lane, a celebrated Waco architect. He’s responsible for designing the ALICO Building, Hippodrome, and other Waco landmarks. While searching through his own family history, he looked for a podcast about Waco’s history. When one didn’t exist, he sought out the perfect co-host to help him start one. That’s where Stephen comes in.

Dr. Stephen Sloan is in charge of the Institute for Oral History at Baylor University. He’s also a professor of history there. Stephen helped start wacohistory.org, a website devoted to helping people find out more about the city’s past. Together, with a series of guests, they’re looking to tell Waco’s known and unknown stories. 

randy and stephen

Courtesy of the Waco Tribune-Herald

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