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Young Talent

Poet Langston Hughes was "discovered" in 1925 while working as a busboy in a Washington, D.C. restaurant. He slipped some of his poems next to poet Vachel Lindsay's dinner plate and, with Lindsay's enthusiastic backing, went on to become a celebrated documenter of the African-American experience. He died in 1967. Hughes' earliest poems were short verses he penned for the Belfry Owl, his high-school magazine. He recited them for a children's collection released as an album in 1955. Hear him celebrate spring's soggy showers in "April Rain Song," along with other works from his teenage years, at

Listen to Langston Hughes perform "April Rain Song"

Music courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways, the non-profit record label of the Smithsonian Institution. Please click here to purchase or for more information


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