Download Big Band Jazz in Black West Virginia, 1930-1942 by Christopher Wilkinson PDF

By Christopher Wilkinson

The coal fields of West Virginia would appear an not likely marketplace for immense band jazz in the course of the nice melancholy. wealthy African American viewers ruled via these concerned with the coal used to be there for jazz excursions would appear both inconceivable. Big Band Jazz in Black West Virginia, 1930-1942 indicates that, opposite to expectancies, black Mountaineers flocked to dances by means of the loads, sometimes touring significant distances to listen to bands led via count number Basie, Duke Ellington, Andy Kirk, Jimmie Lunceford, and Chick Webb, between quite a few others. certainly, as one musician who toured the country may remember, "All the bands have been goin' to West Virginia."

The comparative prosperity of the coal miners, because of New Deal commercial regulations, used to be what attracted the bands to the nation. This examine discusses that prosperity in addition to the bigger political setting that supplied black Mountaineers with a level of autonomy no longer skilled additional south. writer Christopher Wilkinson demonstrates the significance of radio and the black press either in introducing this song and in protecting black West Virginians modern with its newest advancements. The publication explores connections among neighborhood marketers who staged the dances and the nationwide administration of the bands that performed these engagements. In reading black audiences' aesthetic personal tastes, the writer unearths that many black West Virginians most popular dancing to various tune, not only jazz. ultimately, the ebook exhibits bands now linked virtually completely with jazz have been greater than keen to fulfill these viewers personal tastes with preparations in different kinds of dance music.

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Additional resources for Big Band Jazz in Black West Virginia, 1930-1942

Example text

This study is a revelation of the unexpected. Who would associate West Virginia with black history in general or with jazz history more particularly? At the same time, it serves as an introduction to big band jazz seen not from the perspective of its creators or from that of the cities that many of those musicians called home, but from that of an audience for this music that resided far from New York, Chicago, or Kansas City. Who constituted that audience, and the connections between their daily lives and jazz in the Swing Era, are the focus of this book.

A professional editor for many years, she brought to the task of reading early drafts of various chapters a keen sense of style. Having a personal interest in the music under discussion, she also provided the perspective of an extremely intelligent lay reader of a subject of great interest. The result is a text that is far better than would otherwise have been the case. In the final analysis, of course, the strengths of this study are very much a testament to the help I received from those previously mentioned.

The growth of the coal industry gave the coal operators a dominance in the state government over southern West Virginia until the New Deal. It also broke down the traditional mountain culture, introduced new values, and brought in tens of thousands of southern blacks and Europeans to mix with the native population in the confines of the company town. By 1921 southern West Virginia was a heavily populated, industrial economy dependent upon coal production and linked to national and international markets (Corbin, 1981, 1).

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