The Beating Heart of a New Sub-Culture: Jazz’s Route to the Music Mass Market

In the present-day Club Banger Era, hip-hop has become a prominent and necessary component to the commercial pop song market. Some of the most successful songs of 2014 use features to blend pop and hip-hop elements;[1] the collaboration technique bridges sometimes unlikely combinations of rapper and pop singer to bring about fresh creativity, cross-genre appeal and, ultimately, increased sales. Recent songs like Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” features rapper Juicy J, Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” features pop singer Charlie XCX, Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty” features rapper 2 Chainz, Pitbull’s “Timber” features pop star Ke$ha, DJ Snake’s “Turn Down For What” features Lil Jon, Eminem’s “The Monster” features pop star Rhianna and Ariana Grande’s “Problem” features rapper Iggy Azalea, just to name a few titles. As well, the beat of Taylor Swift’s 2014 hit “Shake It Off” is remarkably similar to hip-hop duo Outkast’s 2003 hit “Hey Ya.” The cross genre commercial influence of hip-hop on pop music is evident from the lengthy list of recording artists like Beyoncé, Rhianna, Drake, Lil Wayne, Eminem, Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown who simultaneously appear on hip hop, pop and Hot 100 charts on a regular basis. Despite the proliferation of hip-hop on pop for the past quarter century, hip-hop has rather humble beginnings dating back to the early 1970s, at a time when neighbourhood DJs and MCs in the Bronx, Harlem and Brooklyn provided the beats and lyrics for house and block parties to “keep the crowd pumped.”[2] Although early hip-hop was somewhat an urban folk tradition for neighbourhood entertainment, early acts unreservedly embraced the pop ethos of the 1970s by isolating the beats and rhythm tracks of the latest commercial and danceable disco and funk records while also providing their own rhymes. The Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” (1979), widely regarded as the first hip-hop hit, prominently sampled Chic’s “Good Times,” one of the most commercially successful hits of that year; a song from an album with a budget of over $150,000 from Atlantic Records.[3] Thirty-five years after “Rapper’s Delight,” hip-hop is a multibillion-dollar industry touching everything from advertising to fashion to vodka and tequila.[4] Similar humble beginnings preceding tremendous commercial success are also integral to the history of jazz music, a style which incubated in New Orleans after the turn of the twentieth century, became the city’s musical export during the 1910s and American pop phenomenon during the 1920s.

Jazz music has a complex social history, long before the style became known by its moniker; what would become jazz music in American pop culture zeitgeist of the 1920s took decades to slowly develop in the city of New Orleans and required a journey to the American music mass market. One of the most cosmopolitan and culturally complex cities in North America, nineteenth century New Orleans had a strong social affinity for music, particularly for brass band music, and the city’s diverse population of Europeans, African Americans, Caribbean people and Creoles all aided in the development of what would become jazz music. But a number of important musical, social and entertainment developments built the foundations for a new style that captured audiences’ tastes and the local music market. Working musicians of New Orleans, some of whom could not read music, blended ragtime and blues together and improvised to give band music individual personality. Segregation laws meant to separate African Americans and whites forced a musical relationship between Creole and African American musicians. However, throughout the 1910s, Jazz music consequently became a musical export of New Orleans at a time when a sizable number of southern African Americans migrated north for better opportunities, and many influential New Orleans musicians, following the audience and their dollars, brought the music with them and to a broader range of listeners. However, when the newly labelled jazz brand represented by various orchestras and Jazz Fox Trots proliferating the recording industry in the early 1920s, the finally achieved commercial success of jazz in the music market sounded much different from the origins of New Orleans jazz music and the white demographics of the musicians in the mass pop song market did not reflect the diverse nature of the new style of music.

In order for a new musical style to develop, there must be musicians to shape it and an audience to hear it and New Orleans, “perhaps the greatest cultural melting pot of its day,”[5] provided a unique, cosmopolitan social setting for what would become known as jazz music. As a trading centre of France’s Louisiana Territory, New Orleans and its access to the Mississippi River, attracted French, British, Spanish and Caribbean trading interests and the European influence has had lasting impressions on the city. Even in the twenty-first century, New Orleans retains a distinctly French personality in food, architecture and language. When Louisiana Territory transitioned to American possession in 1803, New Orleans became an important and busy American trading centre. However, the principle business of New Orleans in the first half of the nineteenth century was slave trading; not only was New Orleans the largest municipal centre of the American South, the city was also the largest importer and distribution centre of human beings.[6] During the Civil War, New Orleans was also the largest city of the Confederacy. Despite this business, New Orleans following the Civil War became even more diverse when Caribbean people and newly freed slaves from across the South migrated to the city for opportunities unattainable in other regions of the South. The distinct New Orleans population of Creoles, progeny of Spanish, French, Caribbean, and African American descendents, are a direct result of the diverse nature of New Orleans society. With so many different people cohabitating in the same city, New Orleans developed relatively lax social attitudes towards race; yet, during the 1890s, segregation laws which had systematically divided the American South between black and white populations following Reconstruction, also divided New Orleans and musically, between black and white musicians and audiences. It is in within this complex web of social context that fomented a passionate support and enthusiasm for music.

Entrenched in the diverse nature in the New Orleans social fabric, were also a deeply musical culture and a “joy in expressing itself through music.”[7] For much of the nineteenth century, New Orleans was home to the only permanent resident opera company in North America, a company which had a loyal local following and toured outside of the city frequently and successfully between 1827 and 1845.[8] It was a form of entertainment that became evermore multilingual when German and Italian companies opened to cater to increasing numbers of non-French speaking immigrants moving into the city throughout the 1840s and 1850s.[9] Professional white and Creole symphonies also found thriving homes in New Orleans, so much so that the capacity of their theatres frequently expanded to keep apace with audience demand.[10] But perhaps the most popular form of musical entertainment, one musically significant to the development of jazz, was the brass band.[11] A diverse range of social functions required band music, including parades, weddings, christenings and funerals.[12] The New Orleans phenomenon of the funeral parade became fashionable as early as the early 1800s, simultaneously commemorating the Napoleonic wars in Europe and celebrating the city’s French heritage.[13] The funeral parade became even more entrenched in New Orleans culture during a devastating cholera outbreak in 1832. Many funerals had three or four brass bands playing music “in the procession, because a member probably was active in eight to twelve organizations…it was more than likely his request to be buried as he lived, among a crowd and lots of music.”[14] In 1838, the New Orleans Picayune reported that the city was swept up in a “real mania in this city for horn and trumpet playing,” the article complained that one could not turn a street corner without running into a brass “blower.”[15] The brass band enthusiasm also brought business to New Orleans and the South, when music instrument companies and chambers of commerce began sponsoring regional band competitions by the late 1870s, including spectacular and legendary musical battles between numerous Confederate and Union Veteran bands, which brought tourist dollars wherever they played.[16] New Orleans brass band scene was often a form of sport, with impromptu battles breaking out between bands each one followed by their own loyal fans, “the bands would soon engage in a free-for-all in which each tried to outdo the other in timbre and sonority.”[17] The sustained popularity of brass band music consequently structured the foundations of jazz instrumentation of trumpets, cornet and trombone.

With a diverse mix of people and a vivacious music culture awash in brass bands, the collision of two distinct and seemingly disparate musical styles during the 1890s, blues and ragtime, blended together to form a new sound and song style. The blues was a social, non-commercial folk tradition, a pastoral, bucolic music derived from slave culture, work songs and African American spirituals. Early blues was not recorded, composed commercially available or taught formally, it was a working class music that expressed emotion while also passing the time. Blues music has a distinctly simple composition style of repeated 12-measure sequences, simple chord progressions, and “blue notes” that were melodically out of context from the rest of the tune, the earliest traditions of which, according to Ted Gioia had been “as much about creating sounds as it was about playing notes.”[18] The other style, Ragtime, throughout the second half of the 1890s and into the twentieth century, became a fashionable music craze and commercial phenomenon for music publishing firms of the North and the Midwest, a style represented by the flurry of rags and coon songs published around the turn of the twentieth century. In the South, however, local music publishing did not take the same route of publishing rags as quickly as possible to capitalize on a new trend. The ragtime craze that had consumed the pop ethos of urban America as late as 1912 was over in the South by 1910, note David Jasen and Gene Jones.[19] Southern published rags regularly reflect a blues influence; instead of 16 bar composition format of the North, southern rags regularly employed 12 bar pattern from blues music like Harry L Cook’s “The Shovel Fish Rag” (1907) and Charles Hunter’s “Possum and Taters” (1900).[20] In turn-of-the-century New Orleans, it was not the parlour piano that carried the ragtime tune, but rather the brass band that provided music in public. The most popular rags were translated to dance bands that “provid[ed] music for public consumption,”[21] for the purpose of dancing and general entertainment. Essential in this blending of styles was trumpeter Buddy Bolden who began to “infuse ‘blue’ notes into musical arrangements”[22] and became one of the most in demand and influential musicians of the era. The new style of syncopated and blues-influenced band music helped to build musicians’ playing style throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries into what would become jazz music.

Within New Orleans, along with the enthusiasm for music, there was also no shortage of musical instruments or prospective musicians willing to learn them. During the 1870s, a plethora of used and inexpensive musical instruments leftover from the Civil War flooded the local music market, as did cheaper brass instruments produced by mass production in the similar commercial manner that pianos entered increasing numbers of American homes during the late nineteenth century. In New Orleans in particular, at a time when the new brass band style was causing a stir during the 1890s, more people were eager and able to pick up an instrument and try it for themselves. Even if there had been a glut in musical instruments and a thriving musical culture to embrace new music, not everyone purchasing instruments had access to formal instruction. Musical instruction requires time and money and while white and Creoles often afforded music education, the financial situation of many African American families put such instruction out of reach. Musician Nat Towles remembers that there was “No music, you understand, we didn’t know what a sheet of music was.”[23] Consequently, a lack of formal musical education helped to stimulate the most recognisable tradition of jazz music—improvisation. Many music-illiterate musicians learned the basic melody of a popular tune, oftentimes by ear and then added flairs, glissandi and improvised countermelodies to enhance the main melodic structure,[24] “in a way, this lack of instruction was an advantage because it allowed some Black bandsmen to incorporate their musical heritage and rhythmic vitality,” remark Hazen and Hazen.[25] Peter Townsend notes that learning to improvise well was not just about figuring out how the instrument worked but also about developing one’s own distinct sound; rather than adhering to notes, improvising was about creating sound.[26] Jelly Roll Morton, always eager to boast about his piano playing prowess, describes earning the biggest tips from audiences and prostitutes by improvising on the melodies of some of the most popular Tin Pan Alley tunes like “Bird in a Gilded Cage,” “Wearing My Heart for You” and “Mr. Johnson, Turn Me Loose.”[27] While the market for musical instruments provided many inexpensive instruments to prospective musicians, the lack of formal musical instruction of some musicians gave rise to improvisation, an important ingredient to jazz music.

The musical heritage, blending musical styles and incorporating improvised touches were bringing a new style to audiences, but it is equally important to understand where this new style of music was being played and to briefly look at the working culture of these musicians. The music business of Tin Pan Alley was focused on selling copies of sheet music and promoting titles by plugging and interpolating songs into musical theatre to bolster sales. In New Orleans, the music business was anchored chiefly in live performances of musicians who needed to work, not publishers or recording companies that needed to sell product. Wherever an audience had gathered, there were musicians to provide music including brothels that provided music in the same manner as restaurants. Many early jazz musicians had working class day jobs while playing a night schedule. Drummer Zutty Singleton reminisces, “there were so many bands in New Orleans. But most of the musicians had day jobs, you know—trades. They were bricklayers and carpenters and cigar makers and plasterers.”[28] Musicians juggling day jobs and night gigs frequently played well into the small hours of the night, sometimes until dawn. Musician Danny Barker remembers trumpeter Chris Kelly who would “play slow, lowdown gut-struts until all the dancers were exhausted and dripping wet…He’d blow a few bars before knocking off at 4:30, and his fans would rush about, seeking their loves because that dance meant close embracing, cheek-to-cheek whisperings of love, kissing and belly-rubbing.”[29] Musicians had to build individual reputations to keep paying consumers entertained and to get more paying music jobs;[30] the theme and improvised variation format became the standard method to encourage patrons to give the most tips.[31] One neighbourhood in particular, New Orleans’s red light district of Storyville, named for city alderman Sidney Story who proposed the 38-block section of legal prostitution in 1897, would provide paid employment for many musicians in “all kinds of places in The District” like whore houses, brothels, sporting houses, cribs, and clip joints, each of which had a different class of clientele and different setting for music.[32] Even though “jazz was not born in Storyville,”[33] the District became a renowned tourist attraction and its restaurants, dance halls and brothels provided music for visiting patrons and regular employment for musicians.[34] In New Orleans, “relatively humane attitudes on racial matters intertwined with a passionate love of music, entertainment and dancing”[35] it took all kinds of people playing music to develop the new style.

While socially more liberal than other areas of the South, the city of New Orleans was nevertheless divided along racial lines between black and white, which did not accommodate easily the diverse nature of the city and effected the musical culture. Although New Orleans resisted against the sorts of segregation laws passed systematically throughout the South following the end of Reconstruction in 1877, in 1890, New Orleans passed statutes that prohibited African Americans from occupying white establishments. The laws upset the social roles of New Orleans prominent and prosperous Creole population. In fact, Homer Plessy, who appealed the validity of the laws all the way to the Supreme Court, was actually a New Orleans Creole wealthy enough to purchase a first class train ticket,[36] not an African American. Many talented Creole musicians and their fans were suddenly classified as African American and segregated to black bands at a time when Creoles were “even more prejudiced to other Negroes than the attitude of white people.”[37] Creole musicians light-skinned enough to pass for white did so. Pianist Jelly Roll Morton on his travels throughout the South during the early twentieth century, because of his light-skinned Creole appearance, claimed to be either white or Cuban, depending on location.[38] Darker-skinned Creoles who were “a proud, cultivated, Catholic caste who spoke French patois…suffered a painful decline in socio-economic status” due to the segregation laws.[39] Nevertheless, Creole musicians segregated to African American establishments learned what style of music black audiences wanted to hear and added their own musical talents. The collision of Creoles and African American musicians ultimately had a great effect on the musical style blending ragtime and blues to eventually become jazz. Even though there was a racial divide in the District between black, white and Creole people, Storyville actually helped to break down the musical barriers. Phil Johnson notes that “[the District] broke down the colour line…not between black and white, but between the Negro sub ethnic groups: between the downtown, light skinned Creole Negroes, and the uptown, dark-skinned Africans.”[40] Joachim Berendt observes between Creole and African-American musicians “there were two very different groups of New Orleans musicians, and the difference found expression in music.”[41] The social upheaval expanded band instrumentation, while brass instruments were staples for African American musicians, in Creole music circles, the clarinet was the principle instrument. A plethora of early Jazz musicians reflect this heritage and instrumentation like Joe “King” Oliver, Freddie Keppard, Alphonse Picou, and Sidney Bechet, all of whom played clarinet.[42] Despite the diverse nature of New Orleans and the music scene, the city was legally divided between people and segregation forced two unlikely groups of musicians to work together to develop and advance the new sounds.

During the 1910s, the new style was on the move northwards as were hundreds of thousands of African Americans. The new style of music had been travelling across the country well before the later 1910s, in fact, the earliest print record of the word jazz did not appear in New Orleans, but rather in San Francisco in 1913.[43] The Creole Band, led by Freddie Keppard, travelled the national vaudeville circuit in 1911. As the decade progressed, Chicago became a second city of jazz music when increasing numbers of New Orleans musicians relocated there, including “King” Oliver, Bill Johnson’s Original Creole Band, and the New Orleans Rhythm Kings.[44] In 1915, the first white jazz band, Brown’s Band from Dixieland, was ready for export north to Chicago,[45] their popularity was so immediately intense that other club owners in Chicago started actively seeking out other New Orleans musicians in the mid-1910s.[46] The Original Dixieland Band moved in 1915, Alcide “Yellow” Nunez also relocated to Chicago that year and Sidney Bechet followed one year later. Within this timeframe, throughout the 1910s, a mass migration of hundreds of thousands of African Americans had been taking place, travelling from the South to the urban centres of the North. Ted Gioia notes that the prevalent economic trend of sharecropping had been systematically dropped from region to region leaving African Americans reliant on the farming practice without economic opportunity; migrating north seemed to be the best option for many.[47] 65,000 African American relocated to Chicago, and the African American populations of Buffalo, Toledo, and Akron more than doubled,[48] it was a mass migration where in all, over one million people relocated North.[49] The new migrants “brought their music with them—blues and its refined, citified cousin, jazz,”[50] as musicians “driven primarily by the flows of people and money”[51] followed the crowds when Storyville was driven out of business in 1917. The life of New Orleans’s Storyville district, the hot bed of early Jazz music, had been cut short by the federal government after four sailors had been murdered and the Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels issued an order prohibiting prostitution within five miles of the naval base. The main business of the red light district halted[52] and the once profitable tourist attraction, in which brothels like Mahogany Hall became so famous that they offered their patrons souvenir booklets for sale in gift shops,[53] became quiet. Louis Armstrong points out that when Storyville closed jobs became scarce, “poor people working people who made their living in Storyville such as cooks—waiters—maids—musicians—butlers—dishwashers” were suddenly unemployed.[54] The influence of jazz musicians in the North was palpable. The new musical sounds of live performances attracted everyone “from James Reese Europe to the poorest migrant, [who] took note of the new sound.”[55] By 1919, Jazz had become an international phenomenon, so intensely popular in France that newspapers claimed that the music was a French invention of so-called “cat orchestras” of the eighteenth century that “sound as the jazz band and was fully as musical and entertaining.”[56] By 1919, the new sounds of jazz from musicians looking for income and work had travelled out of New Orleans and into northern neighbourhood restaurants and clubs, delighting audiences of urban centres.

By the time the Jazz era took over the pop song market, the United States was in the middle of some of the most divisive urban racial tensions in history. The national popularity of the film The Birth of a Nation[57] from 1915, adapted from the Thomas Dixon novel The Clansman, had “unleashed racial violence” in its story of the “heroic and honourable Ku Klux Klan.”[58] Returning African-American soldiers from the First World War numbering around 200,000 were faced with segregation in the South and outright racism in the North. The migrating African American families relocating north faced racial tensions regarding housing and labour in traditionally white neighbourhoods then seeing an influx of new black residents looking for jobs. Street battles escalated to full-blown race riots culminating in the summer of 1919.[59] On 27 July 1919, in the city of Chicago, the second city of the jazz scene, a race riot broke out and lasted for a week, in which 23 African Americans were killed and over 500 people were injured in the melee.[60] Record companies eager to capitalise on jazz during these times took a narrow perspective on the new style of music, the sorts of products available to music consumers were not of the sort of the distinct style born in New Orleans, instead, it was a new form of novelty music popularized by white musicians. When presenting the proposition of recording African American musicians to encourage “fourteen million Negroes”[61] to purchase recordings, executives at Victor and Columbia refused;[62] black styles of blues singing in the late 1910s and early 1920s ultimately would be provided by the likes of white singers like Marion Harris and Sophie Tucker. Early recordings describe a style focusing on novelty and fun. The 1916 skit and song by Arthur Collins and Byron Harlan, “That Funny Jas Band from Dixieland,” focus on the musical style using musical sound effects, blacked-up comical dialogue and brisk laughter.[63] The Original Dixieland Jazz Band also propagated the new funny music in songs like “Livery Stable Blues,” in which the musicians use their wind instruments to mimic barnyard animals like cows and horses.[64] Zez Confrey’s “Fox Trot Oddity,” “Stumbling,” (1922) was a humorous tune about “stumbling all around so funny.”[65] Vaudevillians also took part in the new novelty music like Ted Lewis and Eddie Cantor, who suddenly became bandleaders, always looking for new material to add to their stage performances. New and popular multi-piece orchestras recording million-selling Jazz Fox Trots, Jazz One-steps and “Shimmies” created a new form of American orchestral music, one that was tightly orchestrated and lacked the “social balance and interconnectedness” of collective improvisation that jazz music matured in New Orleans.[66] Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra’s “Whispering” (1920) a light, breezy and densely orchestrated tune sold one and a half million discs,[67] their waltz “Three O’clock in the Morning” (1922) with its lilting string section that sounding like European-style classical music, sold three million.[68] Paul Whiteman, the rotund white son of a music teach from Denver, claimed himself as “the King of Jazz” and became the most popular musical figure of the 1920s. Even though Whiteman’s music was not necessarily representative of the rich social history of jazz, musician Joe Venuti suggests that we not judge Whiteman so harshly, “don’t even make fun of Paul Whiteman. He did great things for American music. He took pride in having the finest musicians in the world as sidemen, and he paid the highest salaries ever paid.”[69] At the beginning of commercial music’s foray into jazz, it did not necessarily represent the roots that had given Jazz music its diverse origins.

Jazz route to the commercial pop song market, a genre which lends the sounds and backing tracks of most of the commercial songs for over twenty years, had tremendously humble and yet culturally significant roots in the city of New Orleans. A diverse city in which a musical culture not only developed, but also thrived, New Orleans provided the social scene of both musician and audience. With an influx of used and mass produced instruments, many would-be musicians, with or without formal training in music, experimented with the new sounds brought about through the popularity of live performance, and improvised by blending ragtime and blues influences. But, the music scene in New Orleans during the first two decades of the twentieth century was difficult with many musicians devoting any or all of their spare time to the craft of musicianship. However, in the later half of the 1910s, the musicians pioneering what would eventually be called jazz music, left the city, along with nearly one million African Americans across the South, for opportunity in the North. But in the racial context of the late 1910s, what most people would know of jazz music as recorded by the largely white orchestras was a more orchestrated and less improvisational style taking over the mass market in the early 1920s. However, African American would have their own successes later in the 1920s when record companies found that African American singers and musicians like Louis Armstrong, Ethel Waters, and Bessie Smith had the potential for selling recordings and consequently bringing in revenue, so much so that individual record companies emerged to promote African American music.


Berendt, Joachim E. The Jazz Book: From Ragtime to Fusion and Beyond. H. and B. Bredigkeit, translators. Westport, CT: Lawrence Hill & Co. 1982.

Bronson, Fred. The Billboard Book of Number One Hits. New York: Billboard Publications. 1998.

Borthers, Thomas. Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. 2014.

Carter, William. Preservation Hall: Music from the Heart. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. 1991.

Charnas, Dan. The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop. New York: New American Library. 2010.

“Charts – Year End 2014, Hot 100.” Found on

Ewen, David. Panorama of American Popular Music. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. 1957.

Gioia, Ted. Delta Blues: The Life and Times of the Mississippi Masters who Revolutionized American Music. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. 2008).

Greenburg, Zack O’Malley. “Diddy Explains New Diageo Joint Venture, DeLeón Tequila.” Forbes Online, 8 January 2014.

Hazen, Margaret Hindle and Robert M. Hazen. The Music Men: An Illustrated History of Brass Bands in America, 1800-1920. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 1987.

Hine, Darlene Clark, William C. Hine and Stanley Harrold. African American: A Concise History. 4th Ed. New York: Pearson Education Inc. 2012.

Hischak, Thomas. The Tin Pan Alley Encyclopaedia. Greenwood, CT: The Greenwood Press. 2002.

Jackson, Jeffrey H. Making Jazz French: Music and Modern Life in Interwar Paris. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 2003.

Jasen, David A and Gene Jones. That American Rag: The Story of Ragtime from Coast to Coast. New York: Schirmer Books. 2000.

Johnson, Phil. “Good Time Town.” Contained in The Past as Prelude: New Orleans, 1718-1968. New Orleans, LA: Tulane University. 1968. 233-257.

Kmen, Henry Arnold. “The Music of New Orleans.” Contained in The Past as Prelude: New Orleans, 1718-1968. New Orleans, LA: Tulane University. 1968. 210-232.

Koster, Rick. Louisiana Music: A Journey from R&B to Zydeco, Jazz to Country, Blues to Gospel, Cajun Music to Swamp Pop to Carnival Music and Beyond. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press. 2000.

Morgan, Thomas L and William Barlow. From Cakewalks to Concert Halls: An Illustrated History of African American Popular Music from 1895 to 1930. Washington, DC: Elliott & Clark Publishing. 1992.

Pastras, Phil. Dead Man Blues: Jelly Roll Morton Way Out West. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press. 2001.

Peretti, Burton W. Jazz in American Culture. Chicago, IL: Ivan R. Dee. 1997.

Pope, John. “Slave Trading in New Orleans was a Thriving Business. 13 April 2010.

Price III, Emmett G. Hip Hop Culture. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. 2006.

“Robs Us of Jazz Credit.” New York Times. 11 June 1919. p.17.

Shapiro, Nat and Nat Hentoff, ed. Hear Me Talkin’ to Ya: The Story of Jazz As Told By the Men Who Made It. New York: Dover Publications. 1966.

Tindall, George Brown and David Emory Shi. America: A Narrative History. 8th edition. 2010.

Tirro, Frank. Jazz: A History. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. 1979.

Townsend, Peter. Jazz in American Culture. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi. 2000.

Songs Cited

Confrey, Zez. Stumbling. New York: Leo Feist Inc. 1922.


Collins, Arthur and Byron Harlan (performers). That Funny Jas Band from Dixieland. Victor Record. 1916.

Original Dixieland Jazz Band. “Livery Stable Blues.” Mp3 file.

[1] For a listing of the biggest hits of 2014, see “Charts – Year End 2014, Hot 100” on,, accessed 12 December 2014.

[2] Emmett G. Price III, Hip Hop Culture, (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2006), 24.

[3] Fred Bronson, The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, (New York: Billboard Publishers, 1988), 508.

[4] Zack O’Malley Greenburg, “Diddy Explains New Diageo Joint Venture, DeLeón Tequila,” Forbes Online, 8 January 2014,

[5] Ted Gioia, Delta Blues: The Life and Times of the Mississippi Masters who Revolutionized American Music, (New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2008), 10.

[6] John Pope, “Slave Trading in New Orleans was a Thriving Business,”, 13 April 2010, accessed 17 December 2014,

[7] Henry Arnold Kmen, “The Music of New Orleans,” contained in The Past as Prelude: New Orleans 1718-1968 (New Orleans, LA: Tulane University Press, 1968), 232.

[8] Ibid, 210.

[9] William Carter, Preservation Hall: Music from the Heart (New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 1991), 35.

[10] Ibid, 35.

[11] Margaret Hindle Hazen and Robert M. Hazen, The Music Men: An Illustrated History of Brass Bands in America, 1800-1920, (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1987), 135.

[12] Rick Koster, Louisiana Music: A Journey from R&B to Zydeco, Jazz to Country, Blues to Gospel, Cajun Music to Swamp Pop to Carnival Music and Beyond, (Cambridge, MA: DaCapo Press, 2002), 6.

[13] Kmen, 227.

[14] Danny Barker, qtd in Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff, Hear Me Talkin’ to Ya: The Story of Jazz as Told By the Men Whio Made It: (New York: Dover Publications, 1955), 16.

[15] Hazen and Hazen, 8.

[16] Ibid, 66.

[17] David Ewen, Panorama of American Popular Music, (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1957), 149.

[18] Gioia, 178.

[19] David A. Jasen and Gene Jones, That American Rag: The Story of Ragtime from Coast to Coast, (New York: Schirmer Books, 2000), 161.

[20] Ibid, 160.

[21] Ibid, 162.

[22] Koster, 8.

[23] Nat Towles, qtd in Shapiro and Hentoff, 16.

[24] Hazen and Hazen, 127.

[25] Ibid, 54.

[26] Peter Townsend, Jazz in American Culture, (Jackson, MS: The University of Mississippi Press, 2000), 8.

[27] Jelly Roll Morton qtd in Shapiro and Hentoff, 29.

[28] Zutty Singleton, qtd in Shapiro and Hentoff, 17.

[29] Danny Barker, qtd in Shapiro Nat Hentoff, 50.

[30] Townsend, 38.

[31] Jasen and Jones, 161.

[32] Danny Barker, qtd in Shapiro and Hentoff, 10.

[33] Phil Johnson, “Good Time Town,” contained in The Past as Prelude: New Orleans 1718-1968 (New Orleans, LA: Tulane University Press, 1968), 250.

[34] Ibid, 241.

[35] Carter, 33.

[36] Darlene Clark Hine, William C. Hine and Stanley Harrold, African Americans: A Concise History, 4th ed, (New York: Pearson Education, 2012), 316.

[37] Johnny St. Cyr qtd in Joachim E. Berendt, The Jazz Book: From Ragtime to Fusion and Beyond, (Westport, CT: Lawrence Hill & Company, 1982), 9.

[38] Phil Pastras, Dead Man Blues: Jelly Roll Morton Way Out West, (Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 2001), 10.

[39] Carter, 51.

[40] Johnson, “Good Time Town,” contained in The Past as Prelude, 250.

[41] Berendt, 9.

[42] Ewen, 148.

[43] Frank Tirro, Jazz: A History, (New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 1977), 51.

[44] Ewen, 151.

[45] Johnson, 252.

[46] Ewen, 150.

[47] Gioia, 208.

[48] “Black Population growth in selected northern Cities, 1910-1920,” contained in Hine, Hine and Harrold, 389.

[49] George Brown Tindall and David Emory Shi, America: A Narrative History, 8th ed, (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010), 1036-1037.

[50] Dan Charnas, The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop, (New York: New American Library, 2010), 4.

[51] Gioia, 208.

[52] Johnson, 249.

[53] Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff, Hear Me Talkin’ to Ya: The Story of Jazz as Told by The Men Who Made It, (New York: Dover Publications, 1955), 8.

[54] Louis Armstrong qtd in Shapiro and Hentoff, 64.

[55] Burton W. Peretti, Jazz in American Culture, (Chicago, IL: Ivan R. Dee, 1997), 27.

[56] “Robs Us of Jazz Credit,” New York Times, 11 June 1919, 17.

[57] For a viewing of the film The Birth of a Nation see The Birth of a Nation, posted by Fortune Cookie, posted 1 May 2014,

[58] Hine, Hine and Harrold, 403.

[59] Peretti, 26.

[60] Hine, Hine and Harrold, 386.

[61] Perry Bradford qtd in Thomas L. Morgan and William Barlow, From Cakewalks to Concert Halls: An Illustrated History of African American Popular Music from 1895 to 1930, (Washington, DC: Elliott & Clark Publishing, 1992), 96.

[62] Morgan and Barlow, 96.

[63] Byron Harlan and Arthur Collins, “The Funny Jas Band from Dixieland,” Victor records, 18984-B, 78RPM disc.

[64] Original Dixieland Jazz Band, “Livery Stable Blues,” mp3 file.

[65] Zez Confrey, Stumbling, (New York: Leo Feist Inc, 1922).

[66] Thomas Borthers, Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism, (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2014), 134.

[67] Thomas Hischak, The Tin Pan Alley Encyclopedia, (Greenwood, CT: The Greenwood Press, 2002), 402.

[68] Ibid, 370.

[69] Joe Venuti, qtd in Shapiro and Hentoff, 277.

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About morganhowland

I am a recent college graduate with a degree in American History. I am also a music nerd who likes keeping up with current music and knowing anything about pop songs of the past. Combining the two ambitions into a blog of essays on various topics of popular song history seems like an appropriate thing to do.

One response to “The Beating Heart of a New Sub-Culture: Jazz’s Route to the Music Mass Market”

  1. 스포츠 베팅 says :

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