1. Happy 127th Birthday, Luckey Roberts

    Early jazz pianist Charles Luckyth (Luckey) Roberts was born on this day in 1887. Here is more…


  2. Playlist: Five From Nina Simone

    Playlist: Five From Nina Simone

    [column size=one_half position=first ]ns3Nina Simone’s career tracks the experience of female African American artists during the middle and later part of the 20th century.

    Simone was born as Eunice Kathleen Waymon in 1933 in Tyron, North Carolina. She was the sixth of eight children. The young Wamon auditioned for a scholarship to The Curtis Academy in Philadelphia. She was rejected, she later was…

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  3. Things Couldn’t Have Turned Out Better for Dolly Parton

    Things Couldn’t Have Turned Out Better for Dolly Parton

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    Dolly Parton — the woman whose figured launched a thousand jokes — comes through in profiles and interviews as an upbeat and likable person. Indeed, the feeling is that the real person — at least as far as interviewers and profile writers could dig — is identical to the one…

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  4. The War (that Failed) to End All Wars

    The War (that Failed) to End All Wars

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    One hundred years ago this week — July 28, 1914 — Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia and the First World War began.

    There is no better book on the subject than “The Guns of August” by Barbara Tuchman, which critics say is one of the greatest histories ever written. The…

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  5. Cake: “Short Skirt/Long Jacket”

    Cake: “Short Skirt/Long Jacket”

    HT: Ron H.

    It takes a very brave band–or one with absolutely no notion of how the Internet works–to use a common noun as its name. It likely the latter, since Cake has been around since 1991, according to Wikipedia.

    There is a lot of Talking Headshere, which is is not a bad thing at all. Here is the band’s website. Here is a funny…

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  6. The Andrews Sisters and Jump Jazz

    The Andrews Sisters and Jump Jazz

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    Minnesotans LaVerne, Maxene and Patty Andrews (originally Andreos) became a star act rather early. The first big hit was a bit odd for the girls, whose father was Greek and mother Norwegian. “Bei Mir Bist Du Schön” was a Yiddish fiddle tune translated by Sammy Kahn that the…

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  7. “And the Man in the Back Said, ‘Everyone Attack’ and it Turned Into a Ballroom Blitz”

    A high point of western culture. The Sweet actually was quite popular, as Wikipedia notes…


  8. Even Before John Mayall, There was Alexis Korner

    Even Before John Mayall, There was Alexis Korner

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    Last month, I had the opportunity to chatwith Denny Somach, the author of “Great the Led Out: How Led Zeppelin Became the Biggest Rock Band in the World.” During the conversation, I asked if all of…

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  9. Playlist: Five From King Oliver


  10. Playlist: Five From King Oliver

    Playlist: Five From King Oliver

    [column size=one_half position=first ]In the 1920s, jazz just was becoming jazz. One of the key figures in this transformation was Joseph Nathan (King) Oliver.

    Oliver was important for several reasons. The Red Hot Jazz Archive gives him a lot of credit for an important structural element of the nascent genre:

    Joe Oliver is one of the most important figures in early Jazz. When we use the phrase…

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