1920s Music: Jazz Was America's Gift To the Musical World

1920s music was called, "a combination of nervousness, lawlessness, primitive and savage animalism and lasciviousness."
1920s Music - Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong in the 1920s:
A Young Artist

Jazz was the music of the 1920s: loud and syncopated. This was the Jazz Age!

The jazz recordings were often called "race records," and were sold and played only in the black neighborhoods of large cities like New York and Chicago.

Controversial throughout its history, jazz was America's first contribution to the music world. And it all got started in the 1920s.

The Famous Places and Musicians of the 1920s

When you think of jazz you probably think of people and places like:

King Oliver

1920s Music - King Oliver
King Oliver - Leader
of "The Creole Jazz" Band

To really know the roots of 1920s music, you must start with the King Oliver Creole Band, which played primarily on the South Side of Chicago.

These were the haunts of gangsters like Al Capone and Lucky Luciano.

King Oliver brought together a blend of multiple styles like marches and "ragtime" and mixed in the blues and pop songs of the 1920s.

Oliver's big hit was called "Dippermouth Blues," the band played the song nightly at the request of the crowd. An interesting fact about "Dippermouth Blues" is that it is the first jazz song to feature a fully-developed trumpet solo.

At the time, King Oliver was the most famous jazz player in the world, but playing right behind him in "The Creole Jazz Band" was Louis Armstrong.


Louis Armstrong

1920s Music - Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong - America's
Most Influential Musician?

Is probably the most famous and influential musician the United State has ever produced.

Armstrong played with King Oliver's band at the beginning of the 1920s, by the end of the decade he had moved on to a highly successful career playing around the world with nearly every famous jazz musician.

Armstrong, known as "Satchmo" or "Pops", is the foundation of 1920s jazz. He experimented with nearly every musical style, including Hawaiian, gospel, bluegrass, and popular music of the twenties.

In many ways Armstrong is responsible for popularizing jazz throughout the world. He played everywhere and with everyone.

He was a great 1920s musician and ambassador of music throughout the world.

Leon "Bix" Beiderbecke

1920s Music - Bix Beiderbecke
Bix Beiderbecke -
"A Promising Talent, Cut Short"

An often overlooked character of 1920s music. Bix Beiderbecke has been described as a guy that "if he hadn't been born, he would have had to be invented."

Beiderbecke was a white Midwesterner whose career in music lasted a very short 8 years. He's not the first guy you think of when you think of 1920s music, but his influence has been profound.

His playing style was softer and more relaxed than Armstrong's, it's been described as "a bullet hitting a chime."

Beiderbecke's music was the forebearer and paved the way for the "cool" jazz musicians that would become wildly popular in the 1940s and 1950s.

As you can see there is a tons of information about 1920s music. This page is dedicated to bring it to you. Check back often as I'm writing more on figures such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Jelly Roll Morton, and others.


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