By Christopher Wilkinson
The coal fields of West Virginia would appear an not going marketplace for massive band jazz throughout the nice melancholy. filthy rich African American viewers ruled by means of these concerned with the coal was once there for jazz excursions would appear both unbelievable. Big Band Jazz in Black West Virginia, 1930-1942 indicates that, opposite to expectancies, black Mountaineers flocked to dances via the loads, usually touring significant distances to listen to bands led via count number Basie, Duke Ellington, Andy Kirk, Jimmie Lunceford, and Chick Webb, between a number of others. certainly, as one musician who toured the kingdom might remember, "All the bands have been goin' to West Virginia."
The comparative prosperity of the coal miners, due to New Deal business rules, used to be what attracted the bands to the nation. This research discusses that prosperity in addition to the bigger political setting that supplied black Mountaineers with a level of autonomy now not skilled additional south. writer Christopher Wilkinson demonstrates the significance of radio and the black press either in introducing this song and in preserving black West Virginians modern with its most up-to-date advancements. The ebook explores connections among neighborhood marketers who staged the dances and the nationwide administration of the bands that performed these engagements. In interpreting black audiences' aesthetic personal tastes, the writer unearths that many black West Virginians most well-liked dancing to quite a few song, not only jazz. ultimately, the booklet indicates bands now linked virtually solely with jazz have been greater than prepared to meet these viewers personal tastes with preparations in different forms of dance music.
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Additional resources for Big Band Jazz in Black West Virginia, 1930-1942
40, 20). Hall’s association of this lively culture of big band jazz and dance music with an active mining industry is corroborated most convincingly by a diary kept by Paul Barnes, who for several months was a clarinetist/saxophonist in Joe “King” Oliver’s dance band. As will be discussed in detail in chapter 3, Barnes’s “gig book” listed, among other items of information, the money paid to each player at the end of each of the band’s engagements between October 1934 and the end of June 1935. In that period, the band played a total of 151 dances, twenty-two of which were held in various communities within the Mountain State.
The contractors had but one complaint to make—that the colored men would go “home” for Christmas. Home to them meant Eastern Virginia and we were told that many of them returned joyfully to the old plantations where formerly they were slaves and where... they are still made welcome on holidays. (Hotchkiss 1873, 289) At the conclusion of his text, Hotchkiss discussed the contributions of black workers, revealing both their numbers and their places of origin, information helpful to an understanding of the initial growth of the black population of the Mountain State: Nor is the construction of such a road without what may be called wholesome political results.
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). The migration of African Americans was shaped by the growth of the coal industry during the period Corbin discussed. According to Thomas E. Posey, in 1860, 18,371 slaves and 2,773 free blacks resided in six counties that, with the exception of Kanawha County, were located in what would become the eastern region of the new state where agriculture was the principal activity (Posey 1935, 5).
Big Band Jazz in Black West Virginia, 1930-1942 by Christopher Wilkinson