The biography of James A. Bland, composer, if you are at a loss, of such deep-rooted American songs as ""Carry Me Back to Old Virginny"", ""Oh Dem Golden Slippers"" and ""There'll be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight"". Armed with a few cloudy records of the life of Bland, the author has reconstructed with a free hand. Born in 1854, of emancipated Negroes, Jimmy Bland, the boy with the banjo, and a love of music, found his niche in the minstrel shows of Philadelphia and Washington, and it is in minstrelsy that Jimmy earned his reputation as one of the really great minstrel men. Although we wish that the author had used more of the fascinating minstrel show history rather than opulent dialogue to fill out the meagre biographical record, the subject will be of interest to the minstrel-banjo minded.