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The Negro in IllinoisThe WPA Papers$
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Brian Dolinar

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037696

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037696.001.0001

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(p.240) 29. Rhythm
The Negro in Illinois

Arna Bontemps

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses the history of ragtime, blues, boogie woogie, jazz, and gospel music in Illinois. Itinerant Negro musicians considered Chicago a good town on the circuit. The district which welcomed them first was located on State Street between the edge of the Loop and 35th Street. The two biggest places in the district were Pony Moore's and the Everleigh Club. In 1911, Emanuel Perez's Creole Band came to town. This chapter considers three occurrences that highlight the story of jazz in Chicago: King Oliver's arrival, Louis Armstrong's origination of “Scat” singing, and the recording of Clarence “Pine Top” Smith's Boogie Woogie piano, in March 1928. It also looks at other Negro musicians who performed in Chicago and other parts of Illinois during the period, including Cab Calloway, Sidney Bechet, Jimmy Noone, Erskine Tate, Charley Cook, Clarence Jones, Sammy Stewart, Willie Bryant, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Lionel Hampton, Jack Ellis, and Johnny Dodds.

Keywords:   ragtime, blues, boogie woogie, jazz, gospel music, Negro musicians, Chicago, King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Negro music

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