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A Birth of Jazz

A YouTube History of Music

Early Jazz 2

Ragtime - Other Instrumentation

Banjo - Bass - Drums - Guitar - Piano - Violin

Group & Last Name Index to Full History:


Tracks are listed in chronological order by year, then alphabetically.

Listings do not reflect proper order by month or day: later oft precedes earlier.

Not on this page? See history tree below.



Lil Hardin Armstrong

Eubie Blake    Teddy Bunn
Hoagy Carmichael    Sonny Clay    Eddie Condon    Zez Confrey
Baby Dodds
George Gershwin
Ben Harney    Sol Hoopii
James Johnson    Scott Joplin   Joe Jordan
Carl Kress
Eddie Lang
Dick McDonough    Jelly Roll Morton
Vess Ossman
Walter Page
Snoozer Quinn
Leo Reisman    Luckey Roberts
Willie Smith    Eddie South    Joe Sullivan
Tom Turpin
Fred Van Eps    Joe Venuti
Fats Waller    Clarence Williams



Featured on this page loosely in order of first recording if not record release (as possible).

Names are alphabetical, not chronological, per year:


Ben Harney    Scott Joplin    Tom Turpin    Joe Jordan

Vess Ossman

1897 Fred Van Eps
1914 Luckey Roberts
1915 Zez Confrey
1916 George Gershwin    James Johnson
1917 Eubie Blake
1920 Willie Smith
1921 Leo Reisman    Clarence Williams
1922 Sonny Clay    Fats Waller
1923 Lil Hardin Armstrong    Baby Dodds   Eddie Lang    Jelly Roll Morton
1924 Eddie South    Joe Venuti
1925 Hoagy Carmichael    Sol Hoopii    Dick McDonough
1927 Eddie Condon    Carl Kress
1928 Joe Sullivan
1929 Teddy Bunn    Walter Page    Snoozer Quinn



"Jazz" (or jass) was a sexual term. Both Webster's and the Oxford Dictionary of Music estimate its origin as of 1913. Its deeper roots may be purveyed by timeline at Jazz In America. It's beginnings are of two main limbs (musically speaking): the one arises out of ragtime in New Orleans, with strong Creole and black influence. The other heralds largely from Chicago, also a transformation of ragtime, before moving onward to Harlem, St. Louis, Kansas City, etc.. New Orleans is generally considered the heart of jazz, where many musicians began their careers before merging with the Chicago limb. (This is true of the blues and boogie woogie as well, the Mississippi Delta the deep home of the blues, musicians often migrating to Chicago to join the blues scene there. Boogie woogie, the southern equivalent of ragtime, originated in eastern Texas, likely Marshall, about forty miles from Shreveport, Louisiana.) Though New York City was the third major hub of jazz, it is Hollywood that wielded the greater influence on the public due to film. (The importance of film to any of the American musical genres be here emphasized. It is Hollywood where country becomes country western. It is Hollywood where jazz (classical as well) gets popularized. It is Hollywood that emphasizes dance in early rock & roll. Of all the major American musical genres perhaps the blues most eluded the influence of Hollywood.)



Birth of Jazz: Ben Harney

Ben Harney

Source: Study Com


Birth of Jazz: Tom Turpin

Tom Turpin

Source: Music Timeline


As jazz is largely a transformation of ragtime it is due to preface this history with a brief account of ragtime. Ragtime originated in the 1880's, due largely to black musicians, in the southern and midwestern states, especially Missouri. It came to be as a mix of jigs and marches and was at first considered declassé, played more in bordellos than salons. During the 1890's, however, ragtime had become so increasingly popular that there were good livings to be made selling sheet music to a public of home pianists wishing to add something different to their repertoires of Chopin, but a bit of beat to go with melody. Ragtime's heyday was during the first decade of the last century, its decline, or transformation into jazz, occurring about the time of World War I. The history of ragtime much corresponds with that of famed (and notorious) Tin Pan Ally in New York City where publishers peddled their sheet music. The heydays of sheet music and Tin Pan Alley began in the last decade of the 19th century, their decline, together with the piano roll, occurring during the Great Depression, upon radio and the phonograph becoming major vehicles of musical expression. Among the greatest ragtime composers and musicians were Ben Harney, Scott Joplin and Tom Turpin. Ben Harney composed 'You've Been a Good Old Wagon' in 1895. None of his compositions were recorded, however, until some years later. Neither the date nor vocalist of the recording below are certain. Scott Joplin first began publishing music in 1895. His were also among the first piano rolls produced in 1896. The tunes by Joplin below are piano roll recordings at later dates than when composed. The pianists are unknown. 'St Louis Blues', by Tom Turpin, is recorded from a later piano roll. Again, the pianist is unknown. 'Harlem Rag' is his first published tune (1897), performed by Ann Charters some sixty years later. Joe Jordan was another great ragtime composer and musician who never recorded. He first published in 1902, 'The Century March' and 'Double Fudge'. The song below, 'That Teasin' Rag', was composed in 1909. It is played more than ninety years later in 2001 by Robert Darch.

Ben Harney   Composition: 1895

   You've Been a Good Old Wagon

Scott Joplin   Composition: 1899

   Maple Leaf Rag

Scott Joplin   Composition: 1902  

   Strenuous Life

Tom Turpin   Composition: 1892

   Harlem Rag

Tom Turpin   Composition: 1903

   St. Louis Rag

Joe Jordan   Composition: 1909

   That Teasin' Rag


Birth of Jazz: Scott Joplin

Scott Joplin

Source: Britannica


Birth of Jazz: Joe Jordan

Joe Jordan

Source: Amoeba

  Among the earliest ragtime recordings we've discovered at YouTube are of banjo player Vess Ossman, who first recorded in 1893. Born in 1868 in Hudson, New York, Ossman attained such popularity upon the turn of the century as to tour England in 1900 and 1903, where he also recorded. He later performed and recorded in the Ossman-Dudley Trio with Audley Dudley and Roy Butin, after he formed his own dance band, the Singing and Playing Orchestra. Ossman's greatest upcoming rival was banjoist Fred Van Eps, ten years younger, lower on this page. His first recordings were produced on phonograph cylinders preceding the invention of record discs in 1888 by Emile Berliner. (The "phonograph" cylinder was invented in 1877 by Thomas Edison, not to play music, but to record and reproduce telegraph messages, the next to record and reproduce communications via telephone, the telephone invented in 1880 by Alexander Graham Bell.) Ossman's last recordings were made for Columbia in 1917, though he continued to tour (such as hotels, no huge stadiums in his days) in the Midwest while living in Dayton, Ohio. He died of heart attack on December 7, 1923, after a performance.

Vess Ossman   1897

   The Smiler

   Stars and Stripes

      Original composition: John Philip Sousa   1896

Vess Ossman   1898

   Bunch of Rags

Vess Ossman   1899

   A Ragtime Skedaddle

   Whistling Rufus

Vess Ossman   1901

   The Colored Major

   A Coon Band Contest

   Rusty Rags

Vess Ossman   1904

   The Darkies Awakening

Vess Ossman   1906

   Buffalo Rag

Vess Ossman   1907

   Florida Rag

   Maple Leaf Rag

Vess Ossman   1908

   Dill Pickles

Vess Ossman   1909

   Powder Rag and Dopes

   St. Louis Tickle


Birth of Jazz: Vess Ossman

Vess Ossman

Source: Classic Banjo

Birth of Jazz: Fred Van Eps

Fred Van Eps   Circa 1910

Source: Record Fiend

Born in 1878 in Somerville, New Jersey, banjo player Fred Van Eps (father of guitarist George Van Eps) was also a banjo maker, he and Henry Burr producing the Van Eps Recording Banjo in the twenties. (As in Van Ep's day, cat gut, or that of other animals, is yet preferred to manufacture stringed instruments, though strings of other synthetic material have been tried. Maple is the wood most commonly preferred, though mahogony and walnut are used as well.) Van Eps first recorded in 1897 as a studio musician for Thomas Edison's National Phonograph Company (cylinders). He recorded for Columbia and Victor as well during the first decade of the 20th century. In 1912 Van Eps began recording with his Van Eps Trio, continuing so until 1922. Having also worked the vaudeville circuit, in the thirties he switched from banjo to guitar as he began doing studio work for such as Benny Goodman, Ray Noble and Red Norvo. Van Eps switched back to recording banjo in 1950, releasing such into 1956 on his own record label, 5 String Banjo. It's said that Van Eps could play fourteen notes in one second. Van Eps died in 1960 in Burbank, California.

Fred Van Eps   1903

   Dixie Medley

   International Cake Walk

Fred Van Eps   1907

   Darkies Dream

Fred Van Eps   1908

   Irish Hearts

Fred Van Eps   1909

   Maple Leaf Rag

Fred Van Eps   1911

   Pearl of the Harem

   A Ragtime Episode

      1902 version unfound

   Red Pepper

   The Whitewash Man

Fred Van Eps   1912

   My Sumurun Girl

Fred Van Eps   1913

   Infanta March

   Notoriety Rag

Fred Van Eps   1914

   Down Home Rag

Fred Van Eps   1915

   Dance of the Bugs

      Recorded 1911

Fred Van Eps   1916

   Daly's Reel

   Teasin' The Cat

   On The Dixie Highway

Fred Van Eps   1919

   Silver Heels



Birth of Jazz: Luckey Roberts

Luckey Roberts

Source: All Music


Born Charles Luckyth Roberts in 1887 in Philadelphia, ragtime pianist Luckey Roberts played in minstrel shows as a child. About 1910 he made New York City his home and became one of Harlem's favorite pianists. 'Railroad Blues', below, well demonstrates a ragtime-jazz fusion. Roberts played with James Reese Europe in Europe during World War I. Upon his return to the States he worked largely as a composer as well as making piano rolls. Piano rolls began to be produced for the public in 1896 (Scott Joplin, for example) and are yet made to this day. Roberts was among a very few rich musicians in his day, but it came from real estate investments, not performing music. He died in New York City in 1958. More of Roberts' 1946 recordings can be found on CD as 'The Circle Recordings'.

Luckey Roberts   1914

   Junk Man Rag

Luckey Roberts   1946

   Pork and Beans

   Railroad Blues



Born in 1895 in Peru, Illinois, composer Edward Elzear Zez Confrey released his first recording, ' Kitten On the Strings', in 1922 (unfound). Largely a piano soloist, Confrey produced his first piano roll much earlier, in 1915. (The first player piano roll was invented in France in 1863 by Henri Fourneaux, who got the idea from a loom designed by Jacquard Mills in 1800, also in France, that could weave patterns according to punched card diagrams. It was Edwin Welte who introduced the first perforated paper roll in Germany in 1887 that could play longer songs.) 'By the Waters of Minnetonka', below, is Confrey's first known piano roll. Confrey largely retired from the music industry after World War II, though composed on occasion. He died in Lakewood, New Jersey, in 1971. All the recordings below are piano rolls unless otherwise noted.

Zez Confrey   1915

   By the Waters of Minnetonka

Zez Confrey   1919

   That Thing Called Love

Zez Confrey   1922


   Composition: 1922   Phonograph recording

   Performed by the Broadway Dance Orchestra

Zez Confrey   1923

   The Sneak

Zez Confrey   1925



Birth of Jazz: Zez Confrey

Zez Confrey

Source: AMICA

Birth of Jazz: George Gershwin

George Gershwin

Source: NNDB

Born in 1898 in Brooklyn, composer George Gershwin was brother to lyricist, Ira Gershwin, with whom he would collaborate from 1924 to 1937. He began his career in the music industry at age 15 as a song plugger, advertising sheet music on the streets of Tin Pan Alley. (Tin Pan Alley was that quarter of New York City where popular music was hustled in every fashion. It acquired a reputation, especially among serious musicians - such as Gershwin, a classical pianist - as a place to avoid.) Gershwin's first published composition, written at age 17, was 'When You Want 'Em, You Can't Get 'Em, When You've Got 'Em, You Don't Want 'Em'. The next year, 1916, he began producing piano rolls (of which he made more than 140 during his earlier career, several below). His first recording on vinyl was 'Swanee', with the Fred Van Eps Trio, in 1919. Among his best known recordings was 'Rhapsody in Blue' with Paul Whiteman in 1924. In 1934 Gershwin had his own radio program, 'Music By Gershwin', for NBC. Other than for his many compositions, Gershwin may be best known for his opera, 'Porgy and Bess', first performed in 1935, to commercial failure. It was 1935 when Gershwin last recorded as well, highlighting tunes from 'Porgy and Bess' for RCA Victor. After which Gershwin moved to Hollywood, where he wrote the score for 'Shall We Dance', issued in 1936. He was only 38 years of age when he died in Los Angeles of brain tumor in 1937.

George Gershwin   1916

   An America In Paris

        Player piano

   Chinese Blues

        Player piano

   Swanee Music

        Player piano

George Gershwin   1917

   Rialto Ripples

        Player piano

George Gershwin   1919


        Player piano


        Player piano

George Gershwin   1920

   That Certain Feeling

        Player piano

George Gershwin   1924

   Rhapsody In Blue

       With the Paul Whiteman Orchestra

George Gershwin   1925

   Rhapsody In Blue

        Player piano

   Rhapsody In Blue

       Recorded 1945

        Player piano fused with the Columbia Jazz Band

   So Am I

George Gershwin   1926


   When Do We Dance?

George Gershwin   1928

   Three Preludes

George Gershwin   1930?

   An American In Paris

George Gershwin   1934

   I Got Rhythm Variations

George Gershwin   1957

   Porgy and Bess

      Louis Armstrong/Ella Fitzgerald



Born in 1894 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, composer James Johnson developed a reputation along the East Coast as a great pianist in the twenties, largely due to producing piano rolls. He well represents a bridge from latter ragtime to early jazz. As well, between ragtime and swing there developed a transitional style of piano playing called stride. Johnson was among the pianists who picked up playing in that style (as well as Earl Hines, Thelonious Monk, Luckey Roberts, Willie Smith, Art Tatum and Fats Waller). Various sources give 1916 as the year Johnson issued his first of a great number of piano rolls. His first known vinyl recordings are thought to have been in 1921. Johnson was able to survive the Depression on song royalties, comfortably, though not richly. He died in Queens in 1955. (More Bessie Smith and Ethel Waters, for whom Johnson plays piano in tracks below, at Blues 2.)

James Johnson   1916

   Daintiness Rag

      Piano roll

James Johnson   1917

   After Tonight

      Piano roll

   Caprice Rag

      Piano roll

James Johnson   1918

   Carolina Shout

      Piano roll

James Johnson   1921

   Carolina Shout


      Piano roll

   Harlem Strut

James Johnson   1925

   The Charleston

      Piano roll

James Johnson   1927

   Back Water Blues

      With Bessie Smith

James Johnson   1928

   Guess Who's In Town

      With Ethel Waters

   My Handy Man

      With Ethel Waters

James Johnson   1929

   Blue Spirit Blues

      With Bessie Smith

   It Makes My Love Come Down

      With Bessie Smith

   Wasted Life Blues

      With Bessie Smith

James Johnson   1930

   Honeysuckle Blues

   You've Got to Be Modernistic

James Johnson   1939

   After Tonight

      Trumpet: Henry Red Allen

James Johnson   1943

   Back Water Blues

James Johnson   1944

   Keep Off The Grass

      Piano roll


Birth of Jazz: James Johnson

James Johnson

Source: Last FM

Birth of Jazz: Eubie Blake

Eubie Blake

Source: Black Kudos

Born James Hubert Blake in 1887 in Baltimore, composer, bandleader and pianist Eubie Blake first recorded with Noble Sissle for Pathe (20210) about April, 1917: 'Mammy's Little Choc'late Cullud Chile'. Eleven more tracks with Sissle followed to August, the same month he made his first recordings as a leader, also for Pathe: 'Sarah from Sahara', 'Hungarian Rag', and 'American Jubilee'. Tom Lord lists possible members of that affair as Elliott Carpenter (piano), Broadway Jones (drums) or Buddy Gillmore (drums). Blake released his first piano roll for Ampico in November 1917: 'Charleston Rag'. Blake recorded with  Noble Sissle's operation into 1927. They would release titles together in the fifties and sixties as well. Blake's first keyboard had been a pump organ purchased for him by his mother for seventy five dollars. On an installment plan it came to 25 cents per week. Among his first professional engagements many years later in 1907 was as a pianist at the Goldfield Hotel in Baltimore. He then worked medicine shows (quitting one wagon act because Sunday dinners were against the religion of the Quaker doctor who ran the company) and vaudeville. In 1912 he began working with James Reese Europe. Briefly after World War I (July 1914 - November 1918) Blake formed a partnership with Noble Sissle called the Dixie Duo. He began working in film (short Phonofilms) in 1923. After his years with Sissle he began leading his own orchestra. (He'd recorded on February 11, 1922 as a bandleader: 'Cutie' and 'Jimmy'.) His first issue with His Orchestra was recorded in March of 1931 for Crown Records, issuing 'Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone', 'I'm No Account Anymore', 'When Your Lover Has Gone', and 'It Looks Like Love'. During World War II Blake worked with the USO. He earned a degree in music from New York University in 1954 (age 67). Blake died in 1983 in Brooklyn, five days after his hundredth birthday, still smoking cigarettes, having started at age ten.

Eubie Blake   1917

   Charleston Rag

     1st piano roll

  Hungarian Rag

Eubie Blake   1921

   Bandana Days

Eubie Blake   1922

   Ukulele Baby

Eubie Blake   1923

   Downhearted Blues

Eubie Blake   1924


Eubie Blake   1931

   My Blue Days Blew Over When You Came Back

Eubie Blake   1969

   Charleston Rag

Eubie Blake   1972

   Tricky Fingers (Troublesome Ivories)

Eubie Blake   1978

   Shuffle Along/Love Will Find a Way


  Born William Henry Joseph Bonaparte Bertholoff Smith in 1893 in Goshen, New York, stride pianist Willie Smith (aka the Lion) was raised poor, worked at a slaughterhouse, brawled and stole, began his career at piano as a kid in the back room of a saloon in Manhattan, and learned Hebrew. His father being Jewish, Smith's Bar Mitzvah was held at the usual age of age of thirteen. When he won a piano in a newspaper contest run by a newspaper he took to it seriously before serving as a drum major in the U.S. Army during World War I. He picked up "The Lion" for a sobriquet due to bravery as a heavy artilleryman. After the War Smith worked in Harlem clubs and at rent parties. He is thought to have first recorded in NYC in 1920 with blues singer, Mamie Smith, on her own debut issues as well, those for Okeh on February 14: 'That Thing Called Love' and 'You Can't Keep a Good Man Down'. Though there is general agreement that such is so, multiple discographies also register a measure of reservation. Lord's discography, for instance, notes that rather than Smith with the Rega Orchestra it may have been Frank Banta on piano with the Hager Orchestra. Be as may, Smith did next record with Mamie Smith's Jazz Hounds on August 10, 1920 for Okeh: 'Crazy Blues' and 'It's All Here for You'. A couple more titles followed the next month with Mamie: 'Fare Thee Honey Blues' and 'The Road Is Rocky'. Smith later attended several sessions in the latter twenties with various outfits but didn't gain a lot of traction as a recording artist until the thirties. He released his first titles with pianist, Clarence Williams, at vocals with the Seven Gallon Jug Band in 1930: 'What If I Do?' and 'Wipe 'Em Off'. That was followed by numerous titles with Williams' Jug Band in 1933. May 7, 1934, witnessed him recording with Mezz Mezzrow before recording what may be his first piano solos on the 14th: 'Fingerbuster' and 'I've Got to Have My Moments'. Smith's initial titles as a leader were recorded with his Cubs on April 23, 1935, 'What Can I Do with A Foolish Little Girl Like You?' among them. Among the numerous with whom Smith worked over the years were organist, Milt Herth, Eddie Condon and Henry Red Allen. Smith began touring in North Africa and Europe in the forties. In 1964 Smith published his autobiography, 'Music on My Mind'. His last international engagements were in 1971. He last recorded in 1972, the year before his death. Several of the tracks below are piano rolls.

Willie the Lion Smith   1920

   Crazy Blues

      With Mamie Smith

Willie the Lion Smith   1937

   The Swampland Is Calling Me

Willie the Lion Smith   1938

   Morning Air


Willie the Lion Smith   1939

   The Boy in the Boat (Squeeze Me)

   I'll Follow You


      With Sidney Bechet

   Rippling Waters


   Stormy Weather

   What Is There to Say

Willie the Lion Smith   1949

   Here Comes The Band

   Portrait Of The Duke

   Zig Zag

Willie the Lion Smith   1958

   Ain't Misbehavin'

      Original Composition: Fats Waller

   Darktown Strutters' Ball

   Indian Summer

   Echoes Of Spring

   Maple Leaf Rag

      Original Composition: Scott Joplin

Willie the Lion Smith   1960

   Ain't Misbehavin'

      Live   Original Composition: Fats Waller


      Live performance

Willie the Lion Smith   1964

   Echoes of Spring/Tea for Two

      Live performance


      Live performance

   Hurricane=Nagasaki/Here Comes the Band

      Live performance

   Squeeze Me

      Live performance

Willie the Lion Smith   1965

   Music On My Mind

      Live performance

Willie the Lion Smith   1966

   Ain't Misbehavin'/St. Louis Blues

      Live performance


Birth of Jazz: Wllie the Lion Smith

Willie the Lion Smith

Source: All About Jazz

Birth of Jazz: Leo Reisman

Leo Reisman

Source: Swing Time

Born in 1897 in Boston, bandleader and violinist Leo Reisman first recorded with Columbia Records in 1921. Those tracks were 'Bright Eyes' and 'Love Bird' (the latter unfound). Reisman well represents the early dance orchestra. It was with Reisman that vocalist, Lee Wiley, first recorded in 1931. Reisman died in December 1961 in New York City.

Leo Reisman   1921

   Bright Eyes

Leo Reisman   1926

   Bye Bye Blackbird

Leo Reisman   1927

   For My Baby

   For My Sweetheart


   Red Lips Kiss My Blues Away

   We Two

Leo Reisman   1928

   Foolin' Time

   Old Man Sunshine

Leo Reisman   1929

   Can't We Be Friends

   Doing the Boom Boom

   Gay Love

   Happy Days Are Here Again

   Love Me Or Leave Me

   Moanin' Low


   You Do Something To Me

      Composition: Cole Porter

   Why Was I Born

Leo Reisman   1930

   Body and Soul

      Vocal: Frances Maddux

   Puttin' On the Ritz

   You've Got That Thing

   What Is This Thing Called Love

      Composition: Cole Porter

Leo Reisman   1931

   Mia Cara

   Have a Heart

   I Love Louisa

   I Won't Dance

   My Sweeter Than Sweet

   Out of Nowhere


   She Didn't Say Yes

   Time On My Hands

Leo Reisman   1932

   Too Many Tears

Leo Reisman   1933

   Easter Parade

      Vocal: Clifton Webb

   Smoke Gets In Your Eyes


Leo Reisman   1934

   Don't Let It Bother You

Leo Reisman   1935

   You and the Night and the Music



Birth of Jazz: Clarence Williams

Clarence Williams

Source: Planet Barberella


Louisiana-born (1893) pianist, vocalist and band leader Clarence Williams got his start in music in 1910, running away from home at age twelve to join a traveling minstrel show. At age seventeen (1910) he became a music publisher. Williams' first recordings for Okeh as a bandleader circa September of '21 weren't issued: 'If You Don't Believe I Love You' and 'Roumania'. Those titles were released from a second session in October along with 'The Dance They Call the Georgia Hunch' and 'Pullman Porter Blues'. In 1923 Williams produced his first piano roll, 'Sugar Blues', the same year he first recorded as a band leader with Sidney Bechet in his band, the Blue Five. Williams' two other main bands were the Jazz Kings and the Washboard Five. He recorded and published extensively, also backing a host of big name musicians, until selling his catalogue to Decca Records for $50,000 in 1943, which he used to purchase a bargain used goods store in Harlem. He died in Queens in 1965.

Clarence Williams   1921

   If You Don't Believe I Love You

     Thought to be William's 1st recording issued

Clarence Williams   1923

   Old Fashioned Love

   Wild Cat Blues

Clarence Williams   1925

   Papa De-Da-Da

      Vocal: Eva Taylor

Clarence Williams   1926

   Candy Lips

      Vocal: Eva Taylor

Clarence Williams   1928

   In the Bottle Blues

   Organ Grinder Blues

      Vocal: Eva Taylor

Clarence Williams   1929

   I'm Not Worrying

Clarence Williams   1931

   You Rascal You (I'll Be Glad When You're Dead)


  Born in 1899 in Chapel Hill, Texas, bandleader, drummer and pianist William "Sonny" Clay first recorded in 1922 with Camille Allen in Los Angeles for the Harlequin label: 'Ain't But the One' and 'Mama Likes to Do It'. In 1923 Clay formed the Eccentric Harmony Six with which he laid tracks as the California Poppies for Vocalion: 'What a Wonderful Time', 'Lou', and Mama Likes to Do It''. Sometime between 1923 and '25 he recorded a couple piano solos: 'Gang o' Blues' and 'Punishing the Piano'. Clay laid more tracks with his band, now the Stompin' Six, about May of '25 before his first issues that year as the leader of his Plantation Orchestra, recording 'Jambled Blues' and Boogaloos Blues' in Los Angeles for Vocalion. Clay also called his band the Hartford Ballroom Orchestra and the Colored Idea, the latter with which he toured Australia in 1928, said to be the first black jazz band to tour there. But rumors of drug use and miscegenation resulted in a police raid that got him deported, after which the Australian government banned black jazz musicians from entering the country until 1954 (Louis Armstrong the first to visit Australia that year). Upon his return to the States Clay took a residency at the Vernon Country Club in Los Angeles, then led various bands. During World War II he served in Special Services (Armed Forces entertainment branch). He died in 1973 in Los Angeles.

The California Poppies   1922

   What a Wonderful Time

Sonny Clay   1923

   Gang of Blues

Sonny Clay   1925

   Jambled Blues

Sonny Clay   1926

   Chicago Breakdown

   Plantation Blues

Sonny Clay   1928

   Devil's Serenade


Birth of Jazz: Sonny Clay

Sonny Clay

Source: Swing FM


Born Thomas Wright Waller in 1904, Fats Waller, growing up in Harlem, began playing piano professionally at age fifteen in cabarets and theaters. He made his first ragtime piano recordings, 'Muscle Shoals Blues' and 'Birmingham Blues' in 1922. This was the same year he started producing piano rolls with the help of James Johnson (above). It's said that in 1926 Waller was kidnapped after a performance in Chicago and taken to the Hawthorne Inn, a place owned by Al Capone. Upon arrival the joint was filled with guests, who Waller was expected to entertain, persuaded at gunpoint. Turns out it was a birthday bash for Capone's 27th birthday, and "the boys" had made a "present" of Waller to Capone for the occasion. The story goes that he left three days later, drunk, weary and some thousands of dollars richer, tips in increments of hundred dollar bills. Waller's first original composition to be recorded, 'Whiteman Stomp', was for Fletcher Henderson in 1927, after which he became an enormously popular jazz composer and pianist. Waller wrote such songs as 'Ain't Misbehaving' and 'Honeysuckle Rose'. He died of pneumonia in 1943 while traveling by train. His funeral in Harlem was attended by some 4000 people. Cremated, his ashes were spread over Harlem.

Fats Waller   1922

   Muscle Shoals Blues

      Piano roll

Fats Waller   1923

   Laughin' Cryin' Blues

      Piano roll

   Sister Kate

      Piano roll

Fats Waller   1924

   A New Kind of Man with a New Kind of Love for Me

      Piano roll

   Don't Try To Take My Man Away

      Piano roll

   Jail House Blues

      Piano roll

   Maybe Someday

      Vocal: Hazel Meyers

Fats Waller   1926

   Handful of Keys

Fats Waller   1927


Fats Waller   1929

   Ain't Misbehavin'

Fats Waller   1934

   Honeysuckle Rose

Fats Waller   1935

   I've Got My Fingers Crossed


Fats Waller   1936

   Until The Real Thing Comes Along

Fats Waller   1937


   You're My Dish

Fats Waller   1938

   1938 Radio Broadcast

      Live at the New Yacht Club in NYC

Fats Waller   1939


Fats Waller   1942

   Ain't Misbehavin'

Fats Waller   1943

   Ain't Misbehavin'/Stormy Weather


   That Ain't Right/Stormy Weather

      Film   With Ada Brown

   You're a Viper


Birth of Jazz: Fats Waller

Fats Waller

Photo: Dave Dexter Jr. Collection

Miller Nichols Library

Source: 100 Jazz Piano

Birth of Jazz: Lil Hardin Armstrong

Lil Hardin Armstrong

Photo: Frank Driggs Collection

Source: Riverwalk Jazz


Born in 1898 in Memphis, pianist and vocalist Lil Hardin Armstrong got a job demonstrating sheet music at a Chicago music shop in 1918, she age twenty. Three weeks later she was asked to join the New Orleans Creole Jazz Band. Before long the band was able to book the Dreamland, Chicago's most prestigious nightclub. Eventually Joe King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band replaced the New Orleans Creole Jazz Band. Hardin was invited to stay. King Oliver soon after asked Louis Armstrong to join his band (1922), which is how Lil and Louis came to marry in 1924. Hardin's first recordings were likewise Armstrong's first, with King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band in Richmond, Indiana on April 5, 1923. By twists and turns Lil Armstrong formed her own band, continuing to play at the Dreamland. Lil and Louis separated in 1931, then divorced. Though Hardin led an active career her second love was tailoring, making a tuxedo for Louis Armstrong in the latter forties, then shirts for friends. Hardin died in August 1971 (one month after Louis in July), collapsing at a televised concert performance.

Lil Hardin Armstrong   1923

   Chimes Blues

      Cornets: Louis Armstrong & King Oliver

Lil Hardin Armstrong   1925

   Gut Bucket Blues

      With Louis Armstrong's Hot Five

Lil Hardin Armstrong   1928

   Basin Street Blues

      With Louis Armstrong's Hot Five

Lil Hardin Armstrong   1936

   Brown Gal

   Doin' the Suzie Q

Lil Hardin Armstrong   1937

   Bluer Than Blue

   Lindy Hop

   You Shall Reap What You Sow

Lil Hardin Armstrong   1938

   Let's Get Happy Together

   Safely Locked Up In My Heart

Lil Hardin Armstrong   1940

   Riffin' the Blues


  Born in 1898, drummer Baby Dodds (brother of horn player Johnny Dodds in Early Jazz 1), began his music career in New Orleans playing funeral marches, street parades and in various bands (trumpeter Bunk Johnson among those with whom he worked). In 1918 he and cornetist, Louis Armstrong, left New Orleans to play music on Mississippi riverboats destined back and forth to St. Louis. About the time he and Armstrong had had enough of that (1921), and King Oliver (cornet) had had enough of California, the three eventually found themselves playing together in Oliver's Creole Jazz Band in Chicago, together with Baby's brother, Johnny, Armstrong's bride-to-be, Lil Armstrong, on piano, Honore Dutrey on trombone and Bud Scott on banjo. The significance of their first recording session on April 5, 1923, in Richmond, Indiana, was that it would be the first vinyl release of all in the band. After working with Oliver's band in '23 Dodd's career mirrored that of his brother's until Johnny died in 1940. He then began performing with such as Sidney Bechet, Muggsy Spanier and Jim Robinson. Certainly some of Dodd's most significant work was in the band of Bunk Johnson from '44 to '47, recording extensively in various venues about the nation with Johnson. Dodd also heavily participated in the 'This Is Jazz' broadcasts of 1947 out of New York City, performing with such as Wild Bill Davison. In 1948 Dodds toured Europe with Mezz Mezzrow, then continued freelancing in Chicago and NYC until his death in Chicago in 1959.

Baby Dodds   1923

   Just Gone

      Creole Jazz Band

Baby Dodds   1944

   Baby Won't You Please Come Home

      George Lewis Jazz Band

Baby Dodds   1946

   Albert's Blues

      Baby Dodds Trio

      Clarinet: Albert Nicholas   Piano: Don Ewell

   Buddy Bolden Blues

      Baby Dodds Trio

      Clarinet: Albert Nicholas   Piano: Don Ewell



Birth of Jazz: Warren Baby Dodds

Warren Baby Dodds

Source: A Tela da Reflex√£o

Birth of Jazz: Eddie Lang

Eddie Lang

Source: Jazz SK

If there is a "Father" of jazz guitar it might be Eddie Lang (Salvatore Massaro) who first recorded with the Charlie Kerr Orchestra in 1923. His first of five sessions with Kerr that year yielded 'Good Morning, Dearie' and 'A Silver Canoe' for the Edison label. Not long later Lang became a member of both Red Nichol's Five Pennies and the Jean Goldkette Orchestra. Violinist, Joe Venuti, was a member of Goldkette's band as well. The pair began recording duets together in 1926, then formed the Blue Four. Lang and Venuti's musical collaboration was the American version of the partnership between guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli in France some eight years later (see Jazz 7). Excepting Nichol's Five Pennies, Venuti is the violinist in all the samples of Lang below. Unfortunately Lang died at age thirty. It is thought he bled to death after a tonsillectomy to improve his voice so that he could take parts in Bing Crosby films. Tough business, music.

Eddie Lang   1926

   Good Morning, Dearie

      Charlie Kerr Orchestra

     Thought to be Lang's 1st issued recording

   A Silver Canoe

      Charlie Kerr Orchestra

     Thought to be Lang's 2nd issued recording

Eddie Lang   1926


      Jean Goldkette Orchestra

   Boneyard Shuffle

      With Red Nichols

   That's No Bargain

      With Red Nichols

Eddie Lang   1927

   A Mug of Ale

      Violin: Joe Venuti

Eddie Lang   1928

   The Blue Room

      Violin: Joe Venuti


      Violin: Joe Venuti

   Doin' Things

      Violin: Joe Venuti


      Violin: Joe Venuti

Eddie Lang   1931

   Beale Street Blues

      Violin: Joe Venuti

   Farewell Blues

      Violin: Joe Venuti



Born Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe in 1890 in New Orleans, Jelly Roll Morton is thought to have begun his professional career at age fourteen, playing piano in a brothel. In 1904 he began composing while traveling the South with minstrel shows. In 1912 he began performing the vaudeville circuit with Rosa Brown. Among his first published compositions was 'Jelly Roll Blues' in 1915. He left for Hollywood in 1917, then Vancouver, where he played at a club called The Patricia. Back in Chicago in 1923, he recorded with his own orchestra as early as June, 1923, two takes each of 'Big Foot Ham' and 'Muddy Water Blues' in Chicago for Paramount. The next month he laid three piano solos for Gennett at its studios in Richmond, Indiana: 'King Porter Stomp' with two takes of 'New Orleans Joys'. July that year found him recording with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings. Morton's debut piano rolls are thought to have been made in the summer of 1924 for Vocalstyle in Cincinnati, Ohio: 'Mr. Jelly Lord', 'Tin Roof Blues' and 'Tom Cat Blues'. His career took off in a big way when he signed up with Victor in 1926 with his Red Hot Peppers band. Morton's first issues with the the Peppers that year were 'Black Bottom Stomp', 'Smokehouse Blues' and two takes of 'The Chant'.      During the Depression Victor chose to not renew Morton's contract. With work drying up in clubs, Morton turned to radio in 1934, then toured with a burlesque act to earn a living. In 1935 he moved to Washington D.C. to manage a bar called the Jungle Inn, which career path ended in 1938 upon being stabbed by a friend of the owner. It was also 1938 when he recorded for Eddie Lomax and the Library of Congress, resulting in 'The Complete Library of Congress Recordings', a production of 128 tracks set down between May 23 and June 12 with interviews (released as a box set of eight CDs in 2005). Morton died July 10, 1941, of complications arising from his stabbing in 1938. More Jelly Roll Morton in A Birth of the Blues as well.

Jelly Roll Morton   1923  

   Big Fat Ham

   King Porter Stomp

Jelly Roll Morton   1924

   Mr. Jelly Lord

      Piano roll

Jelly Roll Morton   1926  

   Black Bottom Stomp

   Dr. Jazz

   Steamboat Stomp

Jelly Roll Morton   1929  

   Courthouse Bump

   Pretty Lil

   Seattle Hunch

Jelly Roll Morton   1930  

   Crazy Chords

Jelly Roll Morton   1938  

   The Dirty Dozen

   Finger Buster


Birth of Jazz: Jelly Roll Morton

Jelly Roll Morton

Photo: Frank Driggs Collection

Source: Gaetano Lo Presti

  Born in 1904 in Louisiana, Missouri, Eddie South studied classical violin as a child, but began his career in music doing vaudeville. (Vaudeville was a form of theater in which brief acts, from singing to stunts, were consecutively performed on stage. It began coming together briefly after the Civil War and declined in the twenties.) It was upon making his way to Chicago that he first issued, recording with Jimmy Wade's Moulin Rouge Orchestra in December of 1923 for Paramount: 'Someday Sweetheart' and two takes of 'Mobile Blues'. South first recorded as a leader with his Alabamians on December 2, 1927 in Chicago, yielding four takes each of 'La Rosita' and 'The Voice of Southland'. Upon a chance to study at the Paris Conservatoire in 1928 South was able to record 'Doin' the Raccoon' and 'Two Guitars' in Paris on March 12, 1929. While in Europe he'd been able hear some Hungarian folk music in Budapest, later to serve mixtures of gypsy music with jazz. Another visit to Paris in 1937 resulted in a number of recordings with Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. South played in orchestras other than his own, such as those of Freddie Keppard and Erskine Tate. He worked with pianist, Earl Hines, from '47 to '49. During the forties and fifties he was employed in radio and television. Lord's discography has South issuing as late as 1959 with flautist, Mike Simpson, those from their second session in Chicago, being 'Let's All Sing Like the Birdies Sing', 'Robins and Roses' and 'Bird Bath'. South died in Chicago in 1962.

Eddie South   1924

   Someday Sweetheart/Mobile Blues

     Jimmy Wade's Moulin Rouge Orchestra

Eddie South   1927

   By the Waters of the Minnetonka

   La Rosita

Eddie South   1928

   That's What I Call Keen

Eddie South   1929

   Two Guitars

Eddie South   1931

   Hejre Kati

Eddie South   1962

   Album with Mike Simpson

     Jimmy Wade's Moulin Rouge Orchestra


Birth of Jazz: Eddie South

Eddie South   1946

Source: William Gottlieb

Source: Wikiwand

Birth of Jazz: Joe Venuti

Joe Venuti

Source: To Be Free

Born in 1903, if there is a "Father" of jazz violin it is said to be Joe Venuti, an Italian immigrant, who had been a friend of guitarist Eddie Lang (also of Italian heritage) since childhood. Venuti's first recordings were with the Jean Goldkette Orchestra for Victor on March 27, 1924, in Detroit. He issued titles with various outfits until meeting Lang in 1926, they first recording together in two sessions in January with the Roger Wolfe Kahn Orchestra for Victor, yielding: 'Looking for a Boy', 'Song of the Flame', 'Baby' and 'Lantern of Love'. Venuti and Lang recorded their first titles as a duo later that year in September: 'Stringing the Blues' (unissued) and 'Black and Blue Bottom'. Lang then continued with Venuti in both the Goldkette Orchestra (Goldkette a Greek immigrant) and the Kahn Orchestra (Kahn a Jew). Venuti and Lang next recorded as a duo in November: 'String the Blues'. Venuti and Lang pursued a strong partnership into the thirties. Among others with whom Venuti issued numerous titles were Red Nichols, Seger Ellis, Paul Whiteman, Ben Selvin, Fred Rich, Dick Robertson and the Boswell Sisters. In 1961 Venuti began playing at the Desert Inn Hotel in Las Vegas for several years. He also worked with the Las Vegas Symphony Orchestra. Beginning in 1973 he began laying tracks with sax player Zoot Sims, then pianist Earl Hines in 1976, then Jethro Burns in 1977. Venuti also recorded in his final years with pianists Dave McKenna and Ross Tomkins. His last sessions occurred in 1977 (privately available on a CD produced in 2013 titled 'Joe's Last Ride'). Venuti died in August of 1978. With the exception of Lino Patruno, Lang is the guitarist in all the examples of Venuti below.

Joe Venuti   1926

   In the Evening

      Jean Goldkette Orchestra

     Thought to be Venuti's first recording issued

Joe Venuti   1926


      Jean Goldkette Orchestra

Joe Venuti   1927

   Four String Joe

      Guitar: Eddie Lang

Joe Venuti   1928

   Because My Baby Don't Mean 'Maybe'

   I Must Have That Man

Joe Venuti   1929

   Put And Take

      Guitar: Eddie Lang

   That's the Good Old Sunny South

   Weary River

Joe Venuti   1930

   Raggin' the Scale

      Guitar: Eddie Lang

Joe Venuti   1931

   Little Girl

      Guitar: Eddie Lang

Joe Venuti   1933

   Doin' The Uptown Lowdown

      Guitar: Eddie Lang


      Guitar: Eddie Lang

Joe Venuti   1975

   Limehouse Blues

      Guitar: Lino Patruno



Birth of Jazz: Hoagy Carmichael

Hoagy Carmichael

Source: 8 Notes

Born in 1899 in Bloomington, Indiana, composer and pianist Hoagy Carmichael was a law student when he made his first recordings with Hitch's Happy Harmonists, replacing Curtis Hitch on piano on Richmond Indiana, for Gennett Records on May 19, 1925: 'Boneyard Shuffle' and 'Washboard Blues'. He was yet a law student when he laid a couple unissued tracks with his Collegians in February of '26. He'd received his law degree by the time he issued 'One Night in Havana' and the waltz, 'One Last Kiss', in 1927 with his Pals. He recorded with Emil Seidel in latter '27 before meeting Bix Beiderbecke, both become members of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra for the recording of 'Washboard Blues' in Chicago on November 18, 1927. Carmichael proved a hep talent straight out of the gate and would accompany numerous huge names during his career. He and Louis Armstrong, for example, recorded 'St. Louis Blues' and 'Rockin' Chair' in NYC on December 13, 1929. Among the more important names who used Carmichael's compositions during his early period were Armstrong, Irving Mills (recording with him 1929-30) and Johnny Mercer. Carmichael made it through the Depression as a songwriter for Southern Music Company until royalties from arrangements and compositions started adding up, enabling him to live comfortably enough to leave Southern in 1935. Howsoever, it was also 1935 that Paramount decided to hire him at a $1000 a week to compose for films. Now living not only comfortably but posh (residing in the former mansion of chewing gum heir, William Wrigley Jr.), the first film (of fourteen total) in which Carmichael appeared was 'Topper' in 1937. During World War II Carmichael performed for the USO. From 1944 to 1948 he worked three radio programs: 'Tonight at Hoagy's', 'Something New' and 'The Hoagy Carmichael Show'. In 1953 he hosted his own television show, 'Saturday Night Review'. Among the last songs Carmichael recorded was during the year he died, 1981, 'Small Fry', below. Carmichael's heart failed December 27, 1981, in Rancho Mirage, California.

Hoagy Carmichael   1925

   Boneyard Shuffle

   Washboard Blues

Hoagy Carmichael   1927

   Star Dust

   Washboard Blues

Hoagy Carmichael   1930

   Georgia On My Mind

Hoagy Carmichael   1932

   Lazy River

      Recorded 1930

Hoagy Carmichael   1937

   Old Man Moon

      Film: 'Topper'

Hoagy Carmichael   1941

   Lazy Bones

Hoagy Carmichael   1944

   Am I Blue

   Hong Kong Blues

Hoagy Carmichael   1947

   Huggin' and Chalkin'

Hoagy Carmichael   1956

   Rockin' Chair

      Original recording 1932 for Mildred Bailey

Hoagy Carmichael   1981

   Small Fry

      With Annie Ross & Georgie Fame


  Born in Honolulu in 1902, Hawaiian Sol Hoopii played guitar, steel guitar and ukulele. Hoopii was the 21st child of a something large family. He was playing ukulele at age three, but steel guitar would be his favored instrument. Hoopii's first professional performance was with the Johnny Noble Orchestra, prior to moving to the mainland at age seventeen (1924). (He and two friends had stowed away on the Matsonia ocean liner. They were discovered, but their fares paid by passengers upon performing music.) Once in Los Angeles, his friends returned to Hawaii, but Hoopii formed a trio with Glenwood Leslie and Lani McIntyre. His first recordings were in 1925 ('Lady Be Good' and 'When My Sugar Walks Down the Street', neither found). Hoopii ceased performing secular music in 1938 when he began touring with evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. In 1942 he appeared in 'Musical Moments with Sol Ho'opi'i and His Hawaiian Guitar'. Hoopii died in 1953. He was inducted into Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 1979, and the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame in 1996.

Sol Hoopii   1927

   12th Street Rag

   St. Louis Blues

   Tin Roof Blues

Sol Hoopii   1933

   Hula Girl

Sol Hoopii   1936

   Flower Lei

Sol Hoopii   1938

   Fascinating Rhythm


Birth of Jazz: Sol Hoopii

Sol Hoopii

Source: Stereorama

Birth of Jazz: Dick McDonough

Dick McDonough

Source: 78 Record Spins


Born in 1904, banjo and guitar player Dick McDonough likely first recorded with Ross Gorman and his Earl Carroll Orchestra on August 2, 1925, for Columbia, those tracks, 'A Kiss In the Moonlight' and 'Somebody's Crazy About You', neither issued. McDonough's first released titles with Gorman were recorded on August 7 the same year, again for Columbia in NYC: the waltz, '(You Forgot to) Remember' and 'Oh! Boy, What a Girl'. Red Nichols was in the same band, with whom McDonough would record numerous titles in years to come. As a session player he was in demand by a heavenly host of jazz musicians, including Don Voorhees, Charleston Chasers, Ben Selvin, Miff Mole, Smith Ballew, the Sunshine Boys, the Boswell Sisters, Annette Hanshaw, the Dorsey Brothers, Victor Young, Benny Goodman and Joe Venuti. McDonough's first title issued as an orchestra leader was 'Broadway Rose' in 1929. He issued a number of duets in the thirties with guitarist, Carl Kress, with whom he'd been a frequent studio companion since the Ben Selvin Orchestra in 1927. McDonough  died young (age 34) of pneumonia in 1938.

Dick McDonough   1925

   Oh! Boy, What a Girl

      Ross Gorman & his Earl Carroll Orchestra

      Thought to be McDonough's 2nd recording issued

Dick McDonough   1926

   I'd Rather Be the Girl in Your Arms

      Ross Gorman & his Earl Carroll Orchestra

Dick McDonough   1927

   Feelin' No Pain

     With Red Nichols

Dick McDonough   1934

   Chasing a Buck

      Duet with Carl Kress

   Stage Fright

      Duet with Carl Kress



Born in Goodland, Indiana, in 1905, guitarist Eddie Condon, from Indiana, formed a partnership with Gene Krupa and Red McKenzie (McKenzie-Condon Chicagoans) to first record in 1927: 'Sugar' and 'China Boy'. The next year he switched from banjo to guitar and left Chicago for NYC where he recorded with such as Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Henry Red Allen, Red Nichols and Joe Marsala. Beginning a residency at a Manhattan club called Nick's in the latter thirties, by that time he had worked with Wild Bill Davison, Edmond Hall, Pee Wee Russell and Bobby Hackett. In 1944 Condon ventured into radio for a year. From 1945 to 1967 he ran his own jazz club called Eddie Condon's. Condon published his autobiography, 'We Called It Music', in 1948. He traveled to Great Britain with Wild Bill Davison in 1957, then formed an all-star band to tour Australia and Japan in 1964. Condon died in New York City in August of 1973. Gene Krupa is the drummer in all samples of Condon below.

Eddie Condon   1927

   China Boy


   Nobody's Sweetheart


Eddie Condon   1928

   I'm Sorry I Made You Cry

   Makin' Friends

   That's a Serious Thing

Eddie Condon   1929

   I'm Gonna Stomp Mr. Henry Lee

   There'll Be Some Changes Made

Eddie Condon   1938


   Jazz Me Blues





Birth of Jazz: Eddie Condon

Eddie Condon   1946

Photo: William P. Gottlieb

Source: Wiki 2

Birth of Jazz: Carl Kress

Carl Kress

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1907, guitarist and composer, Carl Kress, was largely a studio musician. He began his recording career on May 6, 1927, as a member of the Ben Selvin Orchestra: 'Just a Little Cuter' and 'Marianette'. He laid numerous tracks with Selvin to August that year before everybody in the phone book of jazz began requesting his accompaniment as a session player: Red Nichols, Frank Trumbauer, Paul Whiteman, the Dorsey Brothers, Fred Rich, Annette Hanshaw, Jack Shilkret, Mildred Bailey, Louis Armstrong, Bobby Hackett, ad infinitum. Kress was also well-known for his duets with Dick McDonough in the thirties and George Barnes from 1962-65. He had played with McDonough since back with the Selvin Orchestra, they having been frequent studio companions. Kress led his own band in the forties. Kress died of heart attack in 1965 while on tour with Barnes.

Carl Kress   1927

   Oh Doris!

      Ben Selvin Orchestra

Carl Kress   1932

   Pickin' My Way

      Duet with Eddie Lang

Carl Kress   1936


      Danson Duet with Dick McDonough

Carl Kress   1939

   Sutton Mutton

Carl Kress   1941

   Blonde On The Loose

      Duet with Tony Mottola

Carl Kress   1947

   Sarong Number

Carl Kress   1953

   Swan Of Tonnelle Avenue

   Walking Behind Miss Lucky/Jazz In G

   Praise Be!

      Live duet with George Barnes



Birth of Jazz: Joe Sullivan

Joe Sullivan

Source: Red Hot Jazz

Born in 1906 in Chicago, pianist Joe Sullivan began studying classical piano at age five. He first started to play professionally at age 17, when he was issued his first musician's union card. In 1922 he began study at the Chicago Conservatory of Music, where he continued through 1923. He first recorded in two sessions in December of 1927 in Chicago as a member of McKenzie and Condon's Chicagoans: 'Sugar', 'China Boy', ''Nobody's Sweetheart and 'Liza'. In 1933 he recorded his first title with Bing Crosby in Los Angeles: 'I Guess It Had to Be That Way'. His first tracks with Crosby's brother, Bob, were laid in NYC in September 1936. Among others with whom Sullivan recorded numerously were Red Nichols, Benny Carter, Bud Freeman, the Stuyvesant Stompers, Teddy Buckner and Jack Teagarden. Sullivan's domiciles were largely Chicago, Los Angeles and New York until his death in 1971.

Joe Sullivan   1928

   China Boy

      With McKenzie and Condon's Chicagoans

   I've Found A New Baby

      With the Chicago Rhythm Kings

   Nobody's Sweetheart

     With McKenzie and Condon's Chicagoans

 Joe Sullivan   1933

   Gin Mill Blues

   Riffin' The Scotch

      With Billie Holiday & Benny Goodman

Joe Sullivan   1935

   Little Rock Getaway


   Singing Moonburn

      With Bing Crosby

Joe Sullivan   1939

   The World Is Waiting For the Sunrise

      With Bob Crosby

Joe Sullivan   1941

   Andy's Blues


Joe Sullivan   1945

   Night and Day

Joe Sullivan   1951

   Royal Garden Blues

      With Buster Bailey & Henry Red Allen

   St. Louis Blues

      With Buster Bailey & Henry Red Allen

   When the Saints Go Marching In

      With Buster Bailey & Henry Red Allen


  Born in 1909 in Freeport, New York, guitarist Teddy Bunn began recording at age twenty (1929) as a guest performer with Duke Ellington. He also recorded with the Walter Pichon Orchestra, as well as the Six Jolly Jesters that year. (The tracks below are chronological by year only). Excepting 1938, Bunn played with the Spirits of Rhythm from 1932 to 1941. Some of the more important musicians he backed were Sidney Bechet, Hadda Brooks, Johnny Dodds, Lionel Hampton and Jimmie Noone. Bunn died in 1978 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Teddy Bunn   1929

   Doggin' That Thing

      Trumpet: Henry Red Allen

   Haunted Nights Only

      With Duke Ellington

   Oklahoma Stomp

      Trumpet: Cootie Williams

Teddy Bunn   1930

   It's Sweet Like So

      With Spencer Williams

Teddy Bunn   1933

   I Got Rhythm

      With the Spirits of Rhythm

      Vocal: Leo Watson

   Nobody's Sweetheart

      With the Spirits of Rhythm

      Vocal: Leo Watson

Teddy Bunn   1938

   Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None Of My Jelly-Roll

      Clarinet: Mezz Mezzrow

      Trumpet: Tommy Ladnier

   If You See Me Comin'

      Clarinet: Mezz Mezzrow

      Trumpet: Tommy Ladnier

Teddy Bunn   1940

   Blues Wihout Words


Birth of Jazz: Teddy Bunn

Teddy Bunn

Source: Hikaru's Blog

  Born in 1900 in Gallatin, Missouri, though bandleader Walter Page also played baritone sax and tuba he was best known as a double bassist. He got to a good start at age 18 with the Bennie Moten Orchestra in 1918. In 1925 he formed the Blue Devils in Oklahoma City which recorded two titles in latter 1929, those for Vocalion in Kansas City: 'Blue Devil Blues' and 'Squabblin''. Page then recorded with Benny Moten's Kansas City Orchestra. several titles on December 13,1932. 1936 found Page recording with Count Basie, for the first time, whose swing bands would be Page's main vessel throughout his career. Recordings with Teddy Wilson followed in 1937. That meant, of course, backing Billie Holiday as well. Among the more preeminently distinguished early upright bassists, Page worked with numerous big name musicians during his career, among them Sidney Bechet, James Rushing ('Blue Devil Blues', below, is Rushing's debut recording), Ralph Suttonn, Eddie Condon, Buck Clayton and Ruby Braff. He died in 1957 of pneumonia. 'Pagin' the Devil', below, is among the earliest bass solos.

Walter Page   1929

   Blue Devil Blues

      The Blue Devils   Vocal: James Rushing

   Pagin' the Devil

      The Kansas City Six

Walter Page   1938

   Swingin' The Blues

      With Count Basie


Birth of Jazz: Walter Page

Walter Page

Photo: Frank Driggs Collection

Source: OK Nation/Rak Music

Birth of Jazz: Snoozer Quinn

Snoozer Quinn

Source: Snoozer Quinn

Born in Pine County, Mississippi, in 1907, Snoozer Quinn, guitarist, early played in locations in southern Louisiana and Texas. He had occasion to record several unissued tracks for Victor in San Antonio on May 28, 1928: 'Snoozer's Blues', 'Tiger Rag', 'That'll Get It' and 'Rambling Blues'. He got his big break in 1928 when Paul Whiteman heard him playing backstage at a theatre in New Orleans. That brought him to New York City where he recorded six takes of two titles with Whiteman on January 10 of 1929: 'Don't Leave Me Daddy' and 'Singin' the Blues'. Quinn recorded 'We'll Have a New Home in the Morning' with Willard Robison and his Deep River Orchestra on February 14 before a session the next month with Frank Trumbauer, yielding 'Futuristic Rhythm' and 'Raisin' the Roof'. Bix Beiderbecke was at that session, as he would be the next in May, bearing forth 'Louise', 'Wait Till You See Me, Ma Cherie' and 'Baby Won't You Please Come Home?'. Quinn joined t on a couple titles with x that month as well: 'What a Day' and 'Alabamy Snow'. Quinn backed country singer, Jimmie Davis, in 1931 for Victor on 'Get on Board, Aunt Susan' and 'Market House Blues', after which his life has been largely a mystery ever since. It's known he performed in the band of Earl Crumb in New Orleans for periods in the thirties and forties. His last recordings were made in 1947 with cornetist, Johnny Wiggs, while in the hospital for tuberculosis in New Orleans. Quinn died in 1949 at only age 42.

Snoozer Quinn   1929

   How Am I to Know?

      With Frank Trumbauer

   My Kinda Love

      Violin: Matty Malneck   Vocal: Bing Crosby

   No One Can Take Your Place

      With Frank Trumbauer

   Singin' the Blues

      With Frank Trumbauer

Snoozer Quinn   1932


Snoozer Quinn   1948

   Melancholy Baby

      Cornet: Johnny Wiggs

   Snoozer's Telephone Blues

   You Took Advantage of Me




We proceed no further than Snoozer Quinn on this page, updating as such occurs.




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