From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Young, Billy

(born: 1860  -  died: 1913) 

Young may have been born in Kentucky, but he grew up in Cincinnati. He and D. W. McCabe owned a minstrel company, one of the few owned by African Americans. The duo teamed up in the 1870s. They played to audiences around the country, including the southern states and even Cuba. Young was equally talented at singing, dancing, and performing comedy and tragedy, and he also wrote the scripts for a number of performances. In 1892, McCabe ditched the company in Mexico, took off with the money, and was not heard from again until 1894 as head of a new company. McCabe died in 1907. Young, who liked his rye and bourbon, continued to perform until 1913 when he developed lung problems and died a few months later. For more see Out of Sight: the Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895, by L. Abbott and D. Seroff; and Father of the Blues, an autobiography, by W. C. Handy.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Out of sight: the rise of African American popular music, 1889-1895
NKAA Source: Father of the blues: an autobiography

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Young, Billy,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 2, 2022,

Last modified: 2018-01-11 00:49:53