Ragtime was popular during the years 1893 to 1919, and
was characterized by formal elements inherited from march and polka traditions.1 Originally a solo piano music, ragtime later
manifested in songs, ensemble arrangements, and culminated in an opera written by the greatest ragtime artist, Scott Joplin.
Ragtime began as an improvisational music, but there is no tangible evidence of this practice; ragtime is apprehended today
in written and recorded forms. The Original Dixieland Jazz Band made what are generally agreed to be the first jazz recordings
in 1917; oral histories suggest that an early form of jazz may have been practiced around 1900, although no notated or recorded
evidence of such music exist
composed between 1897 and 1914 by Tom Turpin, Scott Joplin, and Hubert ‘Eubie’ Blake exemplify the classic notated
ragtime style; recordings made between 1917 and 1925 by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Edward ‘Kid’ Ory, King
Oliver, Bennie Moten, Clarence Williams, and Jelly Roll Morton represent a crosssection of work produced by pioneers of early
"Down by the Old Mill Stream" is a song written
by Tell Taylor. It was one of the most popular songs of the early 20th century It was written in 1908 while Taylor was sitting on the banks of the Blanchard River. Reportedly, Taylor's friends
convinced him not to publish the song believing it was not of commercial value. Two years later, Taylor did publish it in
1910 and introduced the song to the public with performances by the vaudeville quartet The Orpheus Comedy Four. While the
group sang the song at a Woolworth store in Kansas City, the song became so popular with customers, they sold out all 1,000
copies of its sheet music Taylor had with him. Since then over 4 million copies of the song's sheet music has been sold
and it has been a staple for barbershop quartets
Up until now, it has been a universally acknowledged
“truth” that Pomona College’s Alma Mater, Hail, Pomona, Hail!, originated as a “closing song for a
black-face minstrel show produced during the 1909-10 academic year.” However, recently discovered facts conclusively prove that this song was neither composed
for nor sung in that or any other minstrel show. It was an entirely different song that was created for the minstrel show
of 1910. Simply stated, Hail, Pomona, Hail! was the song that was not there. The historic belief in the Alma Mater’s
relationship to the minstrel show is based solely on the unconfirmed and inaccurate recollection of Richard Loucks, Jr. ’13,
a freshman during the 1909-10 academic year. Loucks was actively involved in a show entitled “The Baseball Show,”
a student produced fund-raiser for the college baseball team. The first act was a black-face minstrel show, and the second
act featured the Men’s Glee Club in an a capella performance of “The Ill-Treated Trovatore,” an operatic
parody and spoof of student life at Pomona that had proven popular in the Glee Club’s Southern California concert tour.
Loucks directed the minstrel show and composed the song that “brought down the curtain on Act 1.” The song he
wrote for the show was “The Blue and White,”
Known as "The Empress of the Blues," Bessie Smith was both the
best and the most famous of the female singers of the 1920s. A strong, independent woman and a powerful vocalist that could
sing in both jazz and blues styles, Smith was also the most commercially successful of the era’s singers. Her records
sold tens, if not hundreds of thousands of copies - an unheard of level of sales for those days.
At the young age of 18 in 1912, Smith was performing as a singer and dancer on
the same vaudeville show as another powerful blues singer, Ma Rainey. Rainey taught Smith the ropes, and soon the younger
performer had surpassed her mentor. By 1920, Smith was starring in her own show in Atlantic City, and three years later the
singer moved to New York City.
Smith signed with Columbia
Records and struck gold with her 1923 debut, a rendition of Alberta Hunter's "Downhearted Blues." The song reportedly
sold more than 750,000 copies, its success making Smith a star. She continued to record throughout the 1920s, waxing some
160 songs for Columbia, and performed alongside talented musicians like Louis Armstrong. Smith's annual Harlem Frolics
tent show was a big hit during the mid-1920s.
Smith appeared in the low-budget film St. Louis Blues
in 1929, the only known footage of the singer known to exist. That same year she recorded her last hit, the Depression-era
standard "Nobody Knows When You're Down And Out." Sadly, the public’s interest in blues and jazz singers
waned during the early-1930s, and Smith was dropped by her label in 1931.
Smith returned to her roots and sang in small clubs for a pittance - a far cry from her peak, when she performed
in theaters and hotel ballrooms across the country. Rediscovered by Columbia Records’ talent scout John Hammond, Smith
recorded with band leader Benny Goodman in 1933 and played the Apollo in 1935. Smith would also substitute for Billie Holiday
in the show Stars Over Broadway. Before Smith could launch a full-fledged comeback, the singer tragically died of injuries
from an auto accident in 1937.
Linnie Lucille Love was a child actress, dancer, and
singer in early Washington popular vaudeville. She advanced her skills by studying grand opera at New York City music conservatories.
Upon completion of her New York training she appeared on Broadway and then toured the country with the Metropolitan Opera
Quartet. She teamed up with singer Lorna Lea and they joined the YMCA Entertainers to tour Western military camps during
World War I. While performing at Camp Lewis, Linnie Love was stricken with the influenza virus. She died of it on November
12, 1918. Ten years later, a national campaign led to the U.S. Congress funding a monument at her grave. On February 26, 1893, Linnie Lucille Love was born in Portland,
Oregon. The Love family, Royal Fred Love (1871-1956) and Clara Buford Love (1874-1956), lived in the Lents neighborhood of
Southeast Portland. Royal worked as a clerk at the Routledge Seed and Flower Company. In 1899 the Love's had another daughter,
Ruby, but the parents soon separated. In 1900 Clara and Linnie moved to Seattle, and for Linnie this would be home for the
rest of her too-short life.
and Linnie lived at 304 Spring Street, Seattle, a boarding house that Clara ran and that accommodated three boarders. At this
time the 7-year-old Linnie demonstrated talent and became interested in child acting. In 1901 she started dance lessons at
the Willson's Academy of Dance, in the Ranke Building at 420 Pike Street. Here she learned "buck and wing dancing,"
rhythm dancing with wooden shoes, which included shooting out the leg to make a wing movement, a minstrel and vaudeville style.
"Professor" James H. Willson, the academy head, discovered her to be an excellent dancer and singer. Willson believed
that Linnie and other child actors could be a successful touring company. During America's early twentieth century, a good economy, more spending money, and more leisure time created
a demand for entertainment. Radio would not be available until the 1920s and of course television not until many years later.
The live theater with vaudeville shows became immensely popular. Most small towns had theaters or tent shows that featured
entertainers playing circuits. In 1902, the 8-year-old Linnie Love, made her first stage appearance. She would become a popular
juvenile vaudeville performer who then studied opera and demonstrated a clear and remarkable singing voice.
In 1902 Willson organized a juvenile minstrel show, rented
a railroad car, and with a company of 23 children, ages 7 to 12, toured the Pacific Northwest. The shows were popular and
well received. An Anaconda, Montana, paper reported on February 21, 1902, that the little tots had opened for a three-night
engagement at Sutton's Family Theater. The two-part show, minstrel and burlesque, was based upon the opera Il Trovatore.
Linnie Love was especially good, doing comic routines, singing, and dancing. Favorable reviews of the show specifically mentioned
her. The next year Linnie went out on her
own. She appeared as "Little Linnie Love" on a vaudeville circuit performing at the popular-priced Unique Theatres.
This chain claimed to be the world's first legitimate popular-priced vaudeville chain. The Washington theaters could be
found in Vancouver, Portland, Bellingham, Everett, Yakima, Spokane, and Seattle. Her engagement at the Bellingham Unique opened
on June 22, 1902, and for only 10 cents admission charge, patrons enjoyed her comic routine, dancing, and singing. Miss Love
and other vaudeville performers appreciated the security of Unique Theatre's guaranteed four- and eight-week contracts.
Many vaudeville theaters had no contracts and often terminated acts with little notice.
Linnie, when not on the road, lived in Seattle at 902 ½ 2nd Avenue. Her
mother lived at this address some of the time and then reconcile with husband Royal and return to Portland to join him. They
separated and reconciled a number of times during their lives.
The Blues were born in the North Mississippi Delta following
the Civil War. Its heartfelt and passionate performances are deeply rooted in slavery and the African American culture. Early
compositions were Field Hollers, Ballads, Church Spirituals and Rhythmic Dance tunes called Jump-Ups that showcased a singer
who would engage in a call-and-response with his guitar. He would sing a line, and the guitar would answer. For many years,
due to the lack of music education, multitudes of songs were recorded and passed on only by memory. Because of this fact,
it is very possible that many a great song was "lost in translation."
The Blues became the essence and hope of the African American labourer, whose spirit
is wed to these songs, reflecting his inner soul to all who will listen. Rhythm and Blues is the cornerstone of all forms
of African American music. The Blues, with it's 12-bar, dissonant 7th chord progression and its bent-note melodies were
the early anthems of an oppressed race, bonding themselves together through their soulful cries for freedom and equality.
From its origins at the crossroads of Highways 61 and 49, and the platform of the Clarksdale Railway Station, the blues eventually
began to expand and headed north to Beale Street in Memphis.
The term "The Blues" refers to the "The Blue Devils", meaning melancholy and sadness. An early
use of the term in this sense is found in George Colman's one-act farce Blue Devils (1798). Though the use of the phrase
in African American music may be older, it has been attested to since 1912, when Hart Wand's "Dallas Blues"
became the first copyrighted blues composition.
The Blues form was first mainstreamed about 1911-14 by the black composer W.C. Handy (1873-1958). However, the poetic
and musical form of the blues first crystallized around 1910 and gained popularity through the publication of Handy's
"Memphis Blues" (1912) and "St. Louis Blues" (1914). Instrumental blues had been recorded as early as
1913. During the twenties, the blues became a national craze.
Mamie Smith recorded the first vocal blues song, 'Crazy Blues' in 1920. The Blues influence on jazz brought
it into the mainstream and made possible the records of blues singers like Bessie Smith and later, in the thirties, Billie
In northern cities like
Chicago and Detroit, during the later forties and early fifties, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, Howlin'
Wolf, and Elmore James among others, played what was basically Mississippi Delta blues, backed by bass, drums, piano and occasionally
harmonica, and began scoring national hits with blues songs. At about the same time, T-Bone Walker in Houston and B.B. King
in Memphis were pioneering a style of guitar playing that combined jazz technique with the blues tonality and repertoire.
It is also important to mention that the roots of Jazz began with the Blues. So, if there were no Blues, there would be no
In the early nineteen-sixties,
the urban bluesmen were "discovered" by young white American and European musicians. Many of these blues-based bands
like the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Cream, Led Zeppelin,
Canned Heat, and Fleetwood Mac, brought the blues to young white audiences, something the black blues artists had been unable
to do in America except through the purloined white cross-over covers of black rhythm and blues songs. Since the sixties,
rock has undergone several blues revivals. Some rock guitarists, such as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, and Eddie
Van Halen have used the blues as a foundation for offshoot styles. While the originators like John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins
and B.B. King--and their heirs Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, and later Eric Clapton and the late Roy Buchanan, among many others,
continued to make fantastic music in the blues tradition. The latest generation of blues players would be Robert Cray and
the late Stevie Ray.
In mid-July 1918, Linnie and Lorna signed up with the
YMCA entertainment program, a program to bring lecturers, variety shows, and sports figures to the military camps as well
as overseas. During World War I, the organization provided 109,794 separate performances.
The two singers embarked on an extended tour of Western camps. They performed
shows at Fort Stevens, Oregon, and in Washington: Vancouver Barracks; Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton; Fort Flagler; Fort
Canby; Fort Worden; Fort Lawton; and a final stop at Camp Lewis.
Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke (March 10,
1903 – August 6, 1931) was an American jazz cornetist, jazz pianist, and composer. With Louis Armstrong, Beiderbecke
was one of the most influential jazz trumpet/cornet soloists of the 1920s. His turns on "Singin' the Blues"
(1927) and "I'm Coming, Virginia" (1927), in particular, demonstrated an unusual purity of tone and a gift for
improvisation. Especially these two recordings helped to invent the jazz ballad style and hinted at what, in the 1950s, would
become cool jazz. "In a Mist" (1927), one of a handful of his piano compositions but the only one he recorded, mixed
classical influences with jazz syncopation. Beiderbecke has also been credited for his influence, directly, on Bing Crosby
and, indirectly, via saxophonist Frank Trumbauer, on Lester Young.
A native of Davenport, Iowa, Beiderbecke taught himself to play cornet largely by ear, leading him to adopt a non-standard
fingering that some critics have connected to his original sound. He first recorded with a Midwestern jazz ensemble the Wolverines
in 1924, after which he played briefly for the Detroit-based Jean Goldkette Orchestra before joining Frankie "Tram"
Trumbauer for an extended gig at the Arcadia Ballroom in St. Louis, Missouri. Beiderbecke and Trumbauer both joined Goldkette
in 1926. The band toured widely and famously played a set opposite Fletcher Henderson at the Roseland Ballroom in New York
City in October 1926. The following year, Trumbauer and Beiderbecke left Detroit to join the best-known and most prestigious
dance orchestra in the country: the New York–based Paul Whiteman Orchestra.
Beiderbecke's most influential recordings date from his time with Goldkette
and Whiteman, although they were generally recorded under his own name or Trumbauer's. The Whiteman period also marked
a precipitous decline in Beiderbecke's health, brought on by the demand of the bandleader's relentless touring and
recording schedule in combination with Beiderbecke's persistent alcoholism. A few stints in rehabilitation centers, as
well as the support of Whiteman and the Beiderbecke family in Davenport, did not check Beiderbecke's fall. He left the
Whiteman band in 1930 and the following summer died in his Queens apartment at the age of twenty-eight.
His death, in turn, gave rise to one of the original legends
of jazz. In magazine articles, musicians' memoirs, novels, and Hollywood films, Beiderbecke has been reincarnated as a
Romantic hero, the "Young Man with a Horn". His life has been portrayed as a battle against such bourgeois obstacles
to art as family, commerce, even hygiene, while his death has been seen as a kind of martyrdom. The musician-critic Benny
Green sarcastically called Beiderbecke "jazz's Number One Saint," while Ralph Berton compared him to Jesus.
The historical Beiderbecke, meanwhile, is the subject of scholarly controversy regarding his true name, his sexual orientation,
the cause of his death, and the importance of his contributions to jazz in relation to those of African-American players of
the same period.
Years before Nashville became known for its worldwide
brand of country music lyricists, Beth Slater Whitson was modestly churning out hits. The Hickman County native penned her
two most recognized tunes there in the Goodrich community before moving to Nashville in 1913. Until her death at age 52, her output increased and extended into countless pieces
of magazine fiction. She wrote lyrics for up to 400 songs, by one estimate. On top of that were her short stories, poems and
even a screenplay used by Hollywood's Universal Corp. in the silent movie era. Beneath it all, she was a troubled soul.
Depression and elation marked her moods, although bipolar disorder was not yet labeled in Whitson's day. "Her works were distinctively her own. She was
quite versatile, turning easily from airy, whimsical lines destined to bring joy to the young, to ballads of sentiment that
had universal appeal," wrote her primary biographer, Grace Baxter Thompson. Best known today are her songs Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1910), with music by
New Yorker Leo Friedman, and Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland (1909). Neither has been forgotten. Sweetheart was used in the 1998
Steven Soderbergh film Out of Sight starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez. Earlier, it was recorded by performers as
wildly diverse as Neil Young and Fats Domino, Patti Page and Doris Day, Bing Crosby and Gene Autry, Tiny Tim and Lawrence
Welk. Dreamland, also a Friedman collaboration, attracted latter-day versions by Pat Boone, Frank Sinatra, The Mills Brothers
and even jazz great Thelonius Monk. It was featured in the 1949 Judy Garland film In the Good Old Summertime. Beth and her six-years-younger sister, Alice Norton,
credited their creative abilities to a family steeped in the written word. Their father was John H. Whitson, co-editor of
the Hickman Pioneer newspaper. "Beth and Alice started writing poetry as soon as they learned to spell …,"
John Lipscomb wrote in a Nashville Tennessean Magazine article in 1949. "One of their favorite games was to make up verse
with each supplying alternate lines." Norton told Lipscomb that was how the unforgettable chorus Sweetheart came to be
written: "Let me call you Sweetheart, I'm in love with you/ Let me hear you whisper that you love me too.…"
The tune has been acclaimed as a "Towering Song" by the Songwriters Hall of Fame and placed No. 125 in a 21st-century
ranking of the greatest songs of the 20th century.
African American work songs were an important precursor
to the modern blues; these included the songs sung by laborers like stevedores and roustabouts, and the field hollers of slaves.
There are few characteristics common to all blues,
as the genre takes its shape from the peculiarities of each individual performance. Some characteristics, however, were present
prior to the creation of the modern blues, and are common to most styles of African American music. The earliest blues-like
music was a "functional expression, rendered in a call-and-response style without accompaniment or harmony and unbounded
by the formality of any particular musical structure". This pre-blues music was adapted from the field shouts and hollers
performed during slave times, expanded into "simple solo songs laden with emotional content". Master Kora maker Alieu Suso in the Gambia
Many of these blues elements, such as the call-and-response
format, can be traced back to the music of Africa. The use of melisma and a wavy, nasal intonation also suggests a connection
between the music of West and Central Africa and the blues. The belief that blues is historically derived from the West African
music including from Mali is reflected in Martin Scorsese’s often quoted characterization of Ali Farka Touré’s
tradition as constituting "the DNA of the blues" The Jola akonting folk lute
the most compelling African instrument that is a predecessor to an African-American instrument is the "Akonting",
a folk lute of the Jola tribe of Senegambia. It is a clear predecessor to the American banjo in its playing style, the construction
of the instrument itself and in its social role as a folk instrument. The Kora is played by a professional caste of praise
singers for the rich and aristocracy (called griots or jalis) and is not considered folk music. Jola music was actually not
influenced much by Islamic and North African/Middle Eastern music, and this may give us an important clue as to how African
American music does not, according to many scholars such as Sam Charters, bear hardly any relation to kora music. Rather,
African-American music may reflect a hold over from a pre-Islamicized form of African music. The music of the Akonting and
that played by on the banjo by elder African-American banjo players, even into the mid 20th century is easily identified as
being very similar. The akonting is perhaps the most important and concrete link that exists between African and African-American
However, while the findings
of Kubik and others also clearly attest to the essential Africanness of many essential aspects of blues expression, studies
by Willie Ruff and others have situated the origin of "black" spiritual music inside enslaved peoples' exposure
to their masters' Hebridean-originated gospels. African-American economist and historian Thomas Sowell also notes
that the southern, black, ex-slave population was acculturated to a considerable degree by and among their Scots-Irish "redneck"
neighbours. Influence of spirituals
The most important American antecedent of the
blues was the spiritual, a form of religious song with its roots in the camp meetings of the Great Awakening of the early
19th century. Spirituals were a passionate song form, that "convey(ed) to listeners the same feeling of rootlessness
and misery" as the blues. Spirituals, however, were less specifically concerning the performer, instead about the
general loneliness of mankind, and were more figurative than direct in their lyrics. Despite these differences, the
two forms are similar enough that they can not be easily separated — many spirituals would probably have been called
blues had that word been in wide use at the time.
The abolition of slavery led to new opportunities for
the education of freed African-Americans. Although strict segregation limited employment opportunities for most blacks, many
were able to find work in entertainment. Black musicians were able to provide "low-class" entertainment in dances,
minstrel shows, and in vaudeville, by which many marching bands formed. Black pianists played in bars, clubs, and brothels,
as ragtime developed.
as sheet music, popularized by African American musicians such as the entertainer Ernest Hogan, whose hit songs appeared in
1895; two years later Vess Ossman recorded a medley of these songs as a banjo solo "Rag Time Medley". Also
in 1897, the white composer William H. Krell published his "Mississippi Rag" as the first written piano instrumental
ragtime piece, and Tom Turpin published his Harlem Rag, that was the first rag published by an African-American. The classically
trained pianist Scott Joplin produced his "Original Rags" in the following year, then in 1899 had an international
hit with "Maple Leaf Rag". He wrote numerous popular rags, including, "The Entertainer", combining syncopation,
banjo figurations and sometimes call-and-response, which led to the ragtime idiom being taken up by classical composers including
Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky. Blues music was published and popularized by W. C. Handy, whose "Memphis Blues"
of 1912 and "St. Louis Blues" of 1914 both became jazz standards.
The 1910s saw the balance of power shift in several
of the arts. Against the backdrop of a growing antibusiness climate in the country, artists challenged the power of those
who hired them, bought and used their work, and controlled their careers. Actors in movies and theater (which was controlled
by a near monopoly) demanded better contracts. Painters and writers created new outlets for their work by staging independent
exhibitions and founding new literary journals. Songwriters demanded payment for the use of their works. Artists from all
fields formed associations to protect their rights as workers and to increase their opportunities for success. Among such
groups founded in the 1910s are the Association of American Painters and Sculptors (1911), the Dramatists Guild (1912), the
Actors Equity Association (1913), the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (1914), and the Society of Independent
Artists (1916). In 1919 two thousand members of Actors Equity were among the four million American workers who went on strike
for better pay and working conditions.
For many earlyjazz musicians, an
attraction to music and the idea of making music began before they were first formally introduced to a musical instrument.
Some grew up in musical homes where family members were professional or amateur musicians while others remember first hearing
music at church, parades, or other community events. In many accounts, they recalled their attraction to the sounds musicians
made and their desire to try to make such sounds themselves. Following these initial / encounters, some musicians, such as
Pops Foster, experimented with /homemade instruments. Others, including Danny Barker and Clyde Bernhardt, formed kazoo groups
with their friends and imitated the latest songs. The young Louis Armstrong began his professional musical explorations by
singing in a street corner ensemble.2 These ad hoc and informal settings prepared young jazz-musicians-to-be for their first
encounters with real instruments and perhaps, to some extent, for their first encounters with notated music (Foster 1971:2-3;
Bernhardt 1986:33; Barker 1986:36; Armstrong 1986:32, 34).For musicians growing up in a musical household these first experiences
were usually facilitated by a family member, typically a parent or sibling.Often a family member became the child's music
teacher. Pops Foster's first bass was a cello with strings made of "twine rubbed with wax and rosin." His first teacher was his brother, Willie Foster, who taught him to play and to read. Soon, the
Foster brothers and their sister, Elizabeth, were "playing lawn parties and birthdays in the afternoons and evenings"
(Foster 1971:3). Eddie Durham was taught by his older brother to play musical instruments and read music: "I could read
[music] because my brother studied music . . . he started teaching me trombone and guitar . Singleton Palmer was one of many
African American musicians from St. Louis who came of age in the 1910s and 1920s and studied music with P. B. Langford. In
addition to giving private instruction, Langford led the Odd Fellows Brass Band. At rehearsals, Langford saw to it that young
musicians had an opportunity to learn their craft by sitting alongside more seasoned players.
Not found what your looking for ? use the search box!
We would love to hear from you, do you have a story about fashion
of the 1920's the 30's 40's 50's 60's 70's 80's and 90's? or some of the clothes you like
and have worn, were you a hippy in the 60's perhaps you were a punk, do you collect postcards have a love of cars or motobikes?
may be you have a story about a relative in the 1st world war/second world war perhaps the Vietnam war or any other war during
the 20th century, perhaps a story of a famous person from the 20th century that you met or knew, any images from the 20th
century with text to accompany it, would be most welcome, have we got something wrong? if so let us know, ALL your emails
will be replied to a.s.a.p. contact us HERE.
Just a few words to say
thank you, for all the images and text you have kindly sent in, it is very much appreciated, having said that, if an image
or some text is copyrighted, and you wish for it to be removed we will remove it A.S.A.P.
Copyright 2013 by Pastreunited.com. all rights reserved.