This one’s about the Blues, Pete Kelly’s Blues

Today Jack Webb is best remembered for his portrayal of Detective Sergeant Joe Friday on the radio and television series Dragnet. Friday – a stiff, slouching, robotic cop who chain smokes as he rails against drug abuse – embodies for many folks the definition of a hypocrite and a square. However, the real Webb was … Continue reading This one’s about the Blues, Pete Kelly’s Blues

The Roots of Jazz: Ragtime

Although for most people the strains of "The Entertainer" and other rags now primarily evoke quaint, scratchy images of silent films projected at the wrong speed, when ragtime first appeared around the 1870s, it was the soundtrack of Missouri's whorehouses, parlors and gambling clubs. St. Louis in the 1870s Ragtime was also one of the first … Continue reading The Roots of Jazz: Ragtime

The Roots of Jazz: Cakewalk

A performative, competitive dance known as the chalk line walk first appeared around the 1850s on the plantations along the Gulf Coast. Its origins lay in the African-derived dance known as the bamboula -- also the name of a drum -- and it was performed in New Orleans, where on Sundays slaves were allowed to … Continue reading The Roots of Jazz: Cakewalk