This Issue of the Chronicle, we present Part #4 (New Orleans Music Scene) of our 12-part series of the "History of the Sounds of Modern Music." Our objective is to follow the Sounds made by innovative Humans and their Instruments that have evolved throughout the Centuries of Man-on-Earth.

Part #1 - Early Civilizations Part #2 - Pre Civil War

Part #3 - Civil War and Post Part #4 -New Orleans Scene

Part #5 - The River Boat Era Part #6 - The BIG Cities

Part #7 - The Roaring 20s Part #7 - The Swing Era

Part #8 - Pre-Rock n Roll Part #9 - The 1950s

Part #9 - The 1960s Part #10 - Woodstock

Part #11 - The 1970s Part #12 - The 1980s

The Classic Rock Chronicle

I Issue #10 June 24, 2024

Everything Classic Rock... the CRocker's Voice

The Classic Rock Chronicle was created to provide regularly updated Content about the "Goings-on" of the Vast, eclectic, and important period of Classic Rock from 1964 to 1984... Come along and enjoy the ride, Mates

Subscribers to The Chronicle can submit Topics for future Issues and Content to

History of the “Sounds” of Music Part #4

The New Orleans Music Scene

Classic Rock

By William W. Nelson

Founder of the Asheville School of Classic Rock



After Reconstruction eneded in 1877, the States of Mississippi and Louisana were still in a mess... common People, both Black and White, faced economic difficulties as the region struggled to recover from the war's devastation. The plantation economy had been disrupted, and many formerly wealthy planters were struggling to adapt. The majority of People in both States were still engaged in agriculture, often as sharecroppers or tenant farmers. This system often kept them in a cycle of debt and poverty.

Before 1900, there were likely few formal Music Venues, with most Music being performed in Homes, Churches, and Community gatherings. Instruments were not readily available but the Fiddles, Banjos, and Harmonicas were passed down to the Youth who seemed to take a view of needing something more. Organized Sounds started to pop up in Mississippi on Plantations with the Slide Guitar using a bottleneck or metal object to slide along the fingerboard and bend notes. Patterns between Voice and Guitar were improvised... and Vamps began to intrigue young Wannabee Musicians playing a repeating pattern while waiting for something else to happen musically.

This was the beginning of organized Sounds that provided a foundation for Soloists to learn the skill of improvisation... the skill came in creating tension and anticipation as listeners waited for changes through the repetition with subtle variations. It is not clearly documented exactly how this paradigm shift in the Sounds of Songs came about but it did... this would be the first of many to follow the evolution of Sounds as skills were gradually developed using advances in equipment used to make Sounds.

We start this journey on a Plantation in Mississippi where it all started to come together... and by 1900, it would continue to evolve to New Orleans which would be the start of something so BIG that by the 1920s, it would take the World by Storm!!! Come along and ride the Sound Train about the relationship of, first, the Blues evolving to Jazz, and then Blues Fusion to Jazz (Blazz) evolving to Rock n Roll some 40 years later.

The Origin of the Blues

In my research of the definition of the Blues and who was the first to sing the Blues has led to nothing definite! But, I am going to post the following Notes that pertain to how it got started in America and evolved over time… how did the lovers of Music learn to recognize the Sounds that Blues Musicians make, and how did it evolve over time? (Comments most appreciated)

Alyn Shipton, a Scholar of Jazz and Popular Music, has defined the

term Blues as “an African-American Song Form, derived from late

nineteenth-century Ballads and personal Music Lyrics, plus elements

of Spiritual and Gospel Music.” However, he also notes that “there is

evidence of the word being used for a much longer period to denote

the melancholy state of mind that underlies a vast number of Blues


The Blues started and evolved from a combination of African

Musical Traditions… Work Songs, Field Hollers, Shouts, Chants, and

simple narrative Ballads of the African-American Slaves and

Sharecroppers. Celebrations by Clans were based on their History

and whether they were derived from a Plantation Owner's kindness

and respect or one of harshness and disrespect. It can be said that

"Runaways" took their Freedom Celebrations to another level without

the fear of retribution and punishment.

The Mississippi Delta

It is agreed that the Mississippi Delta, particularly the area

surrounding the Dockery Plantation (1895) in Sunflower County, is

considered one of the primal centers where the Blues emerged.

One Charley Patton, who lived and performed (1916) at Dockery Farms, is

regarded as one of the most important early Delta blues musicians

and a key figure in the development of the Genre. He is considered

by many to be the "Father of the Delta Blues" … through his powerful

Vocals, innovative Guitar playing, and Songwriting.

His gravelly, loud Singing Voice and aggressive performance style,

including playing guitar with his teeth or behind his back, influenced

showmanship aspects for later blues performers. Patton's blending

of different musical styles like Ragtime, Gospel, and Hillbilly

Music into his Blues set a precedent for synthesis that

impacted artists like Muddy Waters decades later. His seminal

recordings in the late 1920s and early 1930s, like "Pony Blues"

and "Down the Dirt Road Blues," provided a template and the

standard for Delta Blues that resonated through generations of


But first, we need to move down the Road to New Orleans and learn how Wannabee Musicians became a part of what is considered the first organized Society of Sounds that would eventually move Northward and change the Sounds of Music forever.

The New Orleans Music Scene

After the Reconstruction of the South began to gain a foothold around 1880. The migration of Wannabee Musicians to New Orleans settled around the Treme neighborhood off of the French Market area was the only place in America where African and Afro-Caribbean People were allowed to preserve their cultural traditions for over a century. When these traditions were blended with those of the European Colonialists, it gave birth to a distinctly American fusion that continues to define our nation today… making Treme and its Congo Park meeting place one of the nation’s oldest African American Urban neighborhoods as well as one of the first "Integrated Communities” in the United States.

Influence of the Port of New Orleans

From 1718 until 1810, New Orleans was essentially European. Decreed a city at its founding by Bienville in 1718, New Orleans was laid out by the French engineer, Adrien de Pauger, in a classic eighteenth-century symmetrical gridiron pattern, but the streets were little more than muddy ruts. The construction of the city was challenging due to the marshy soil, necessitating the building of Levees and Canals to manage flooding and drainage.

The United States purchased Louisiana from France in 1803, including New Orleans, for $15 million. This acquisition was driven by the need for access to the port, which was vital for trade and economic expansion... By 1810, New Orleans had a population of about 10,000, making it the fifth largest city in the United States and a major Hub for trade. · Between 1841 and 1860, nearly half a million Immigrants entered through the Port of New Orleans.

Before the Civil War, the "Red Light" District grew around Gallatin

Street was once filled with Barrooms, Dance Houses, and

Brothels... most institutions serving as all three. There was rarely a

fee to enter, but Men were encouraged to buy a drink for their Dance

Partner at the end of each Dance, keeping the Bartenders happy and

the patrons “loose.” The Times-Picayune reported that owning a Bar

on Gallatin Street required “Courage, Brutality, and Diplomacy.” Many

Stories from Gallatin’s most notorious Bars, especially the Greentree

Tavern, describe the dangers of the business of hanging around or worse, owning one of these Taverns.

“The Creoles of Color worked in Homes and picked up the same Culture as the White People,” said Leah Chase, whose remembrances of the Dooky Chase Restaurant include: “They’d go to the Opera House, where they had their [racially segregated] upstairs corner. They had réveillons for Christmas and New Year’s that were held at St. Augustine Church and Congo Square.

The Creole Bands tended to be less boisterous... John Robichaux was considered a more "Classy" Band and played much "Sweeter" Sounds". Robichaux's career flourished. From 1892 to 1903, he served as the Bass Drummer for the Excelsior Brass Band. Simultaneously, he began working as a Bandleader, playing Violin in his own ensembles from 1893 until his death in 1939. His bands were highly regarded and featured many of the city's top musicians, such as Bud Scott, Lorenzo Tio, and Manuel Perez.

Prostitution was known as New Orleans’ “second most profitable industry.” Most of the Prostitutes on Gallatin Street were Immigrant Women of Black origin who didn’t make it very far from the Port. A study done in 1858 on sex workers stated that once women were in the industry, they died within four years and at least 50% of them had venereal diseases. If they didn’t die of the diseases themselves, then the violent acts committed against them by drunken patrons and angry bar owners did. New Orleans’ newspapers at the time of Gallatin Street’s infamy had a constant stream of published ads promoting potions, elixirs, and cure-alls for sexually transmitted diseases.

The first documented Brothels in New Orleans were the Amsterdam House and the California House during the “Antebellum Period of the Civil War on Gallatin Street, also known as "French Market Place.” Of all the clubs on Gallatin Street, The Green Tree Tavern had one of the longest and most violent reputations.

Since 1857, the leaders of New Orleans had made a futile attempt to control Prostitution on Gallatin Street which was filled with Barrooms, Dance Houses, and Brothels… a Gang called the “Live Oak Gang” earned their name from the oak clubs or "shillelaghs" they carried as weapons, as well as their meeting place under a large live oak tree. They were involved in various criminal activities like robbery, extortion, and violent assaults, particularly targeting the many brothels and bars along Gallatin Street, especially the Green Tree Tavern.

The status quo would go on for some 40 years before the public outcry finally caused some action to respond to the ever-growing problem of violence associated with, what seemed to be, the amount of Prostitution serving the Port of New Orleans… with upwards of 3,000 Steamboats arriving per year due to the thriving Export Industry.

Many attempts to control the neighborhood mostly were in vain by the Police and tolerance was difficult... in the 1880s, The Green Tree Tavern was converted into a Bakery. By this time, vice on Gallatin Street was in decline but was still a problem. In 1886, a fire from Decatur Street leaped onto the old Green Tree building, burning it to the ground. Perhaps a fire was the most appropriate way to close the violent history of the Green Tree Tavern.

During the American Civil War, Union forces captured New Orleans, cutting off a major supply route for the Confederacy... In 1879, the construction of Jetties in South Pass improved navigation by clearing sandbars that had hindered Ships entering the River, marking the beginning of the modern era of the Port. Cotton, Sugar, Grain, Lumber, Tobacco, and Pig Iron were the main exports.

Music in 1890 was under the influence of Ragtime... born out of the Creoles of New Orleans were classified as Blacks and Musicians began to comingle and create a new Sound that brought America UP!


A Genre of Musical Composition for the Piano, generally in Duple Meter and containing a highly Syncopated Treble lead over a Rhythmically Steady Sass. A Ragtime Composition is usually composed of three or four contrasting Sections or Strains, each one being 16 or 32 measures in length.

This definition describes much of the music of the itinerant pianists who traversed the South and Midwest and eventually congregated in St. Louis, Missouri to produce an oeuvre of core Ragtime compositions. These roving Composers include Scott Joplin (dubbed the "King of Ragtime"), Charles Hunter, Thomas Turpin, Louis Chauvin, Charles L. Johnson, and many others.

Ragtime held its place in popularity until, in 1896, the Supreme Court ruled that Segregation of Public spaces was Constitutional and that "separate but equal spaces" were mandated and enforced. Unfortunately, the Creoles of New Orleans were included in the interpretation of the Law forcing them be be excluded from playing in White Venues and Music would take a turn.

In 1896, the City Fathers passed legislation to improve the Port as the demand for goods increased and the Missipppi became the main thorofare for goods from the North. The need for workers surpassed the existing force and, by 1900, the population was approaching 300,000. Social life in the French Market area was alive with diverse ethnic and racial groups... French, Spanish, African, Italian, German, and Irish all found a common cause in their love of Music. Just after the beginning of the new Century, proto-Jazz began to emerge as part of a broad Musical Revolution encompassing Delta Blues, Ragtime, Spirituals, Marches, and the popular fare of "Tin Pan Alley." It also reflected the profound contributions of people of African and Creole Heritage to this new and distinctly American Music.

All of this turmoil, by forcing the Creoles to play with the Blacks, a level of Technicality would forever change the nature of Popular Music with a distinctive set of Sounds of its own… so began the “Soloist’ lead in Songs. A brand-new music was being formed (not Spirituals, Blues, or Ragtime)… It was a set of evolutionary Sounds totally unto itself and would blossom into an authentic Art form... all with the start of one Jelly Roll Buddy Holden in a place called Storyville... where you could hear "Ratty Music" or "Gut-Bucket Music" all night long. To be clear, it was "Hot Music" filled with energy and fire called Jass after the Perfume Whores wore... then someone changed it to Jazz?

By 1910, there were proto-Jazz Bands everywhere of Colored and White Members... one of the best known White Groups was one led by Papa Jack Lane... sometimes a Drummer, Blacksmith, and even a Boxer. New Stars emerged: Freddie Kepard, Kid Ory, Joe Oliver, and one Child Prodigy Sidney Bechet (the poet of New Orleans) who wowed Audiences for the next 50 years. But the one Soul who is called the "King of Jazz," Buddy Holden. Come along and "Rip it UP!"

A Place Called Storyville

Alderman Sidney Story, responding to Public protests against

rampant Prostitution in New Orleans, presented to the City

Council an ordinance in January 1897 limiting Brothels, Saloons,

and other businesses of Vice to a prescribed area. The area of

Storyville, which, to his dismay, unofficially acquired his name...

came to include a number of blocks on Bienville, Conti, Customhouse, St. Louis,

Marais, North Basin Street, North Franklin, North Robertson, Treme,

and Villere streets. The houses of assignation that quickly proliferated throughout the area included everything from cheap 25-cent Brothels to extremely elegant establishments on North Basin Street. It was located by a Train Station, making it a popular destination for Travelers throughout the city, and became a centralized attraction in the heart of New Orleans.

Being an extremely profitable business, the majority of the Owners of the of elegant Mansions along Basin Street either sold their properties to the highest bidders or actually ran them... New Orleans' Cribs were 50-cent Joints, whereas the more expensive establishments could cost up to $10 a trick. The Police raids on Vice businesses outside the District forced a major cleanup post haste...

There were three key Women who controlled the "Ladies of the Night" (and all day long)... Kate Townsend (who was murdered in 1883), Lulu White, and Willie Piazza. Each of these Women possessed power within Storyville that affected their Public perception and the overall perception of the Red-light District throughout its 20-year existence. New Orleans offered “forms of legalized Gambling, Mardi Gras festivities, few restrictions on the sale of Alcohol, and access to Storyville's finest for a whorl.

The Music Scene of Storyville

The "District", as it was called, had a mixture of Upscale Brothels in Mansions, such as Hilma Burt’s and Lulu White’s Mahogany Hall on Basin Street, cheaper Brothels with Prostitute “Cribs” and “Pads,” Saloons, and Dance halls on the back streets. The Mansions employed Parlor Pianists, including Manuel Manetta and Jelly Roll Morton, to perform throughout the day and evening hours... while the Saloons and Dancehalls often hired Ragtime Dance Bands to entertain Patrons.

Musicians stood to make more money in Storyville than in other musical hot spots around the city. The District’s clubs, such as Funky Butt Hall, the Entertainers (also known as the 101 and 102 Ranch), the Big 25, Pete Lala’s, and the Frenchman’s, gave musicians ample opportunity to work, challenge each other, and experiment with new sounds.

Artists such as Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Freddie Keppard, Tony Jackson, Manuel “Fess” Manetta, Clarence Williams, Oscar “Papa” Celestin, Edward “Kid” Ory, Joe “King” Oliver, Johnny Dodds, and youngsters Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet found plentiful work and abundant inspiration. These performers used their gigs and cutting contests (competitions between Musicians) to refine new styles, contributing to the development of the Jazz sound emerging from New Orleans. Of the many Musicians who played in the District, all but a few (the piano player Kid Ross being the most well-known exception) were of African descent.

Key Female Artists include Pianist Mamie Desdunes, Pianist and Band Leader Dolly Dureaux Adams, Musian Ann Cooke, and Madam and Musician Antonia P. Gonzales ... see "Women of Storyville"

Blue Books (25 cents) were created to advertise the services of the Sex Workers of Storyville and included the names of working Prostitutes in New Orleans. Arranged by name or address, the Prostitutes were also distinguished by Race and Religion, with special markings for each category. Sex workers could be identified by such categories as Black, White, Quadroon, Jewish or French.

As New Orleans developed, Storyville’s “Back o’ Town” location became more central. In 1908, the train terminal at Canal and Basin Streets, one block from Storyville, was completed. To reach the station, trains traveled past the Basin Street bordellos, where the (often naked) prostitutes waved to the passengers from balconies. Different citizens’ groups attacked Storyville, urging the mayor to close, or at least move, the district. To some, Storyville represented a threat to young women; to others, Storyville threatened the racial order.

Note: The term "Back o’ Town," describing the area around South Rampart Street in New Orleans, holds a significant place in the history of American music and culture. This neighborhood, located near the Central Business District and the Tremé neighborhood, was a vibrant African American community that played a crucial role in the development of jazz. The cultural and social dynamics of Back o’ Town in the early 20th century created a fertile ground for musical innovation and community resilience.

In 1917, the City attempted to relocate all nonwhite Prostitutes to the uptown district. Several Madams, including Willie Piazza and Lulu White, fought the measure and won. The city reworded the ordinance, but before it went into effect, the District was abolished. Storyville was less than five miles from the Naval Training Station, and when Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels made clear his desire that Storyville close, Mayor Martin Barhman acquiesced, ordering it closed by midnight on November 12, 1917.

Prostitution continued, but Storyville lost its cachet and the neighborhood declined. The photographs of E. J. Baccoa have immortalized some of Storyville’s Women. Similarly, numerous films, bars, and clubs celebrate and romanticize the District, though it is physically gone. Following the passage of the 1937 U.S. Housing Act, the City razed most of Storyville's buildings in order to construct the Iberville housing project. “Uptown Storyville” now contains some Hotels, Parking lots, Offices, and Municipal buildings, including City Hall. (Emily Landau)

Some claim that the District's closing is why many of the Musicians then left and began to spread their Music across the world. While New Orleans is credited as the birthplace of Blues and Jazz, Storyville is often hidden from many history Books leading to the mysticism of its nature as a place that no longer exists physically or metaphorically. However, some Musicians state they did not leave just because of the closing of Storyville, but there was a calling, and the Riverboat Era (See Part #5) was one of the main Avenues to spread the new Sounds of Music to Memphis, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Chicago. This was also during the same period as the "Great Migration" when large numbers of Black Families migrated away from the South’s Jim Crow Laws to bigger Cities with more economic potential and opportunities for better employment.


Note: We do not include any mention of the young Louis Armstrong in this Section as he was only a "Listener" and practicing Musician who was certainly influenced by the Scene in Storyville. Armstrong was born in one of the poorest sections of New Orleans on Aug. 4, 1901. "He was a prodigy," says art historian and curator Marc Miller, "a hard-working kid who helped support his mother and sister by working every type of job there was, including going out on street corners at night to sing for coins."

At age 7, he bought his first real Horn, a cornet. When Armstrong was 11 years old, the Juvenile Court sent him to the Jones Home for Colored Waifs for firing a Pistol on New Year's Eve. While there, he had his first formal Music lessons and played in the home's Brass Band. After about 18 months he was released. From then on, he largely supported himself as a Musician, playing with pick-up Bands and in small Clubs with his mentor Joe "King" Oliver. Oliver was one of a handful of noted Musicians in New Orleans, along with Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet, and others--who were creating a distinctive and widely popular new Band Busic out of Blues and Ragtime.

The early 1920s saw Armstrong's popularity explode as he left New Orleans for Chicago to play with "King" Oliver's Creole Jazz Band and then moved on to New York, where He influenced the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra with improvisation and a new Musical vocabulary. (See Part #5)

The Music Influencers of Storyville

Jelly Roll Morton

One of the first of the Storyville Musicians was one Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe,

known professionally as Jelly Roll Morton... he was born around 1884. and grew

up in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood of Creoles of Color, many of whom

were French-speaking, educated Catholics... they were descended from gens

de couleur libres (free people of color). As a youth, Morton studied several

instruments formally, but eventually took up the Piano, for which he is best known...

and he would take all that and produce a new, complex, improvised Hybrid Sound. He was the first to put his Compositions down on paper... he would take existing dance Music and put his twist on it.

Still, a Kid living with his Great-Grandmother, he took a job as a Nightwatchman, the he told her... he never told her what he was watching. Working in a Brothel, he had a front-row seat looking through Peepholes. and would adjust his Compositions to fit the action going on by the Sounds coming through the walls. Some of his Music incorporated Habanera Dancing Rhythms from the Caribbean which he called the "Spanish Tinge." When she found out about his escapades, she threw him otta the House... and he took to the road at the age of 17 playing high-end Brothels in New York City, Chicago, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, and Los Angeles.

Around 1904, Morton started touring in the US South, working in Minstrel Shows such as Will Benbow's Chocolate Drops, gambling, and composing. His songs "Jelly Roll Blues", "New Orleans Blues", "Frog-I-More Rag", "Animule Dance", and "King Porter Stomp" were composed during this period. Stride pianists James P. Johnson and Willie "The Lion" Smith saw him perform in Chicago in 1910 and New York City in 1911.

He rose to fame as the leader of Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers from 1926 to 1930... they were a seven- or eight-piece band formed in Chicago. They recorded for Victor and featured some of the best New Orleans-style freelance musicians available, including cornetist George Mitchell, trombonist Kid Ory, clarinetists Omer Simeon and Johnny Dodds, banjoists Johnny St. Cyr and Bud Scott, double bass player John Lindsay, and drummers Andrew Hilaire and Baby Dodds.

Freddie Keppard

Pioneer proto-Jazz Musician, Freddie Keppard, was one of the most famous Cornet players of the early 20th Century. Born in 1890 in New Orleans, Keppard came from a Musical Family that included his Brother Louis, who also became a Professional Musician playing the Piano and Tuba. Keppard began his Musical career with the Mandolin, followed by the Violin, Accordion, and finally finding his passion with the Cornet. At the age of 16, he organized the Olympia Orchestra to showcase his talents and perform throughout New Orleans.

Keppard became part of the migration of Creole Jazz musicians to the West Coast in the first two decades of the 20th Century. After traveling to Los Angeles, he founded the Original Creole Orchestra in 1912. The Orchestra introduced New Orleans jproto-Jazz to a wider audience and quickly became one of the most popular acts on the West Coast. By 1919 it had a following in large cities across the United States. As his popularity rose, the Victor Talking Machine Company eventually offered Keppard the chance to be one of the first to record the new Jazz Sound. Keppard refused the recording offer saying he was fearful people would “steal his stuff.”

Keppard toured with numerous Bands throughout his career including ensembles led by Mae Brady(with Lil Harding Armstrong - Louis' Wife) and Doc Cooke, Erskine Tate, and Ollie Power. By the early 1920s, he was one of the most well-traveled musicians of his time with fan bases in Los Angeles, New York, New Orleans, and Chicago.

Papa Jack Laine

George Vetiala "Papa Jack" Laine was known primarily as a Creole Drummer but was more renowned for his skills in Arranging and Booking Bands. He started leading Bands as early as 1885, with his most famous, eclectic Group being the "Reliance Brass Band", which he led for nearly 20 years. Laine's Bands were notable for their diverse Membership, including Musicians from various ethnic backgrounds such as African American, English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Jewish, and Latin American. (See List of Musicians)

Laine was commonly referred to as the “Father of New Orleans Ragtime.” He was a Musical Entrepreneur who could deploy multiple Bands at one time, fielding Groups that included future Jazz stars such as George and Abbie Brunies, Tom and Steve Brown, Alcide Nunez, and various Players later affiliated with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band and the New Orleans Rhythm Kings.

In 1917, Laine quit Music because of the Creole situation... he worked as a Blacksmith, and later managed a Garage. He never recorded during his prime but in the 1950s he can be heard briefly on an American Music recording playing a Bass Drum with a Group that called itself Papa Laine’s Children in his honor.

Kid Ory

Born on December 25, 1886, in LaPlace, Louisiana, Edward "Kid" Ory began his Musical journey with Homemade Instruments before eventually mastering the Trombone..h He was one of the early users of the "Glissando Technique, helping to establish it as a central Element of New Orleans proto-Jazz.

In some context, Glissandro is equivalent to Portamento, which is a continuous, seamless glide between notes. In other contexts, it refers to discrete, stepped glides across notes, such as on a piano. Some terms that are similar or equivalent in some contexts are slide, sweep bend, smear, rip (for a loud, violent glissando to the beginning of a note).

Kid Ory organized a Band of his own in LaPlace and brought it into New Orleans not long after his encounter with Buddy Bolden. He quickly began to receive calls for the Band to play at Picnics, Funerals, and Dances.

Ory's Woodland Band gained an enviable reputation for playing Music that appealed to Dancers, with careful dynamics that made the Band a pleasure to hear. Ory looked youthful, dressed well, and was personable on the Bandstand. He became known as Kid Ory, but musicians nicknamed him 'Dut,' Creole for Dude. Around 1910, he switched permanently from a Valve Trombone to the Slide version.

He moved his six-piece band to New Orleans in 1910. Ory had one of the best-known bands in New Orleans in the 1910s, hiring many of the great jazz musicians of the city, including the Cornetists Joe "King" Oliver, Mutt Carey, and Louis Armstrong, who joined the band in 1919, and the Clarinetists Johnny Dodds and Jimmie Noone.

In 1919, he moved to Los Angeles... one of several New Orleans Musicians to do so at the time and he recorded there in 1922 with a Band that included Mutt Carey, the Clarinetist and Pianist Dink Johnson, and the String Bassist Ed Garland. While in Los Angeles, Ory and his band recorded two instrumentals, "Ory's Creole Trombone" and "Society Blues", as well as a number of other Songs. They were the first Jazz Recordings made on the West Coast by a Black Jazz band from NOLA. His band recorded with Norskog Records; Ory paid Nordskog for the Pressings and then sold them with his own label, "Kid Ory's Sunshine Orchestra", at Spikes Brothers Music Store in Los Angeles.

In 1925, Ory moved to Chicago, where he was very active, working and recording with Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Oliver, Johnny Dodds, Bessie Smith, Ma Raine, and many others. He mentored Benny Goodman and, later, Charles Mingus. He was said to have attempted to take Trombone lessons from a "German Guy" who played in the Chicago Symphony, but Ory was turned away after a few lessons. Ory was a member of the original lineup of Louis Armstrong's Hot Five who first recorded on November 12, 1925. His composition "Muskrat Ramble" was included in the Hot Five session in February 1926.

During the Great Depression Ory retired from Music and did not play again until 1943. In 1941, he was a pallbearer at the funeral of Jelly Roll Morton in Los Angeles where he ran a Chicken Farm. From 1944 to about 1961, he led one of the top New Orleans–style bands of the period... he retired to Hawaii and passed in 1966. (I wonder how he felt about Rock n Roll?)

Joseph Nathan "King" Oliver

Sidney Bechet

Buddy Bolden

Charles Bolden was raised in New Orleans in the neighborhoods now known as Central City and the Irish Channel. He learned the rudiments of the Cornet from a neighbor named Manuel Hall. Bolden was also influenced by the wealth of Music he heard being performed in New Orleans. These Sounds that influenced him included Spirituals, Jubilee Singing, and the exuberant “Shouts” from his Baptist background. The Brass Bands that played at a wide range of both Religious and Secular functions also shaped Bolden’s Musical Style. These Bands performed a blend of Ragtime and Military Music that synthesized African and European concepts, presaging the hybrid that soon became Jazz.

Bolden also felt the influence of the African-retentive Vocal Chants and Afro-Caribbean Drums that had thrived in the New in New Orleans during the first half of the nineteenth century... most notably at weekly Slave gatherings at Congo Square. Aspects of this tradition – especially its aesthetics of Polyrhythm, Syncopation, and Improvisation (the Kets to Jazz) – lingered long in the City, and, while significantly modified by the passing of time, they remain palpable and important today. Bolden would also have heard African American and Creole Musicians playing more standardized European forms such as the Waltz, Quadrille, Schottische, and Mazurka, as well as Military Marches.

A Guitarist named Charles Galloway initially formed the band that Bolden played in, around 1895. Bolden soon became the leader... however, reflecting his reportedly extroverted personality and the loud, aggressive Cornet playing style that many observers noted. Initially working by day as a laborer, Bolden became a full-time Musician as the Band’s popularity grew. By 1902, he was listed as a Musician in the New Orleans City directory. As the Band’s following expanded, Bolden acquired the nickname “Kid,” which designated an up-and-comer. When “King replaced this moniker” it meant that Bolden had reached the peak of his Profession. In great demand, Bolden and his Band performed constantly, playing both Dances and Parades, all over Town. He concentrated, however, on the strip of Clubs and Taverns around the intersection of South Rampart and Perdido Streets, which was known as "Back-of-Town".

Many prominent early New Orleans proto-Jazz musicians played and/or associated with Bolden. These included Clarinetists George Baquet, Alphonse Picou, and a young Sidney Bechet; Bassist Alcide “Slow Drag” Pavageau; multi-instrumentalist Peter Bocage; Cornetist/Alto Saxophonist Isidore Barbarin; and Drummer Louis Cottrell, Sr.. Bolden’s main competitor as a Soloist was the Violinist who headlined John Robichaux’s Dance Orchestra.

By 1906, Bolden had suffered several psychotic episodes that included an assault on his mother. This mental problem – plus the pressures of performing and the deleterious effects of alcohol – ended Bolden’s career. After several arrests, he was declared insane. In 1907 Bolden was committed to a State Mental Hospital in Jackson, Louisiana. He was diagnosed with dementia praecox, now known as schizophrenia. These circumstances spawned the bizarre theory, proposed in 2001 by Dr. Sean Spence of the University of Sheffield, U.K., that Bolden’s musical talent constituted a clear symptom of his mental illness. By extension, Spence ludicrously implied, jazz is a psychiatric condition.

Bolden spent 24 years at Jackson until his death in there 1931. He was buried in an

unmarked grave in the Holt Cemetery in New Orleans’ Mid-City section. Ninety years

following his mental breakdown, Bolden was honored with a second-line funeral and the

installation of a Monument at the Cemetery.

In Summary

The Music in Storyville was characterized by its lively Rhythms, Improvisation, and a strong emphasis on individual Expression. Musicians often engaged in "Cutting Contests," where they would challenge each other to showcase their skills and creativity. This competitive atmosphere was crucial in the evolution of the Blues Fusion, as it encouraged Musicians to innovate and refine their Styles. The blending of African, European, and American Musical Traditions in Storyville laid the groundwork for Jazz, incorporating elements of Ragtime, Blues, and Classical Music.

The spirit of creativity and improvisation that thrived in Storyville continues to inspire Musicians and Artists today. Jazz remains a dynamic and ever-evolving Form, influencing various Musical Genres and continuing to be celebrated worldwide. Contemporary Artists build on the foundations laid in Storyville, ensuring that the Genre remains vibrant and relevant for future generations.

Many Wannabee proto-Jazz Musicians left before the closing of Storyville to seek their 5 minutes of Fame following the Riverboats up the Mississippi to Memphis, St. Louis, Kansas City, and, of course, to participate in the Chicago Sound. In Part #5, we take you along on the Journey to follow the evolving Sounds of Blazz Music as the Riverboats traverse the Mississippi... we follow the Journeys of one 17-year-old Louis Armstrong as he began the start of one hell-of-a Career. This is all leading up to the "Roaring 20s" in Part #6.


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