The Jazz History of St. Louis-Part 2: The Great Depression And The Beginning of World War II

Jul 11, 2014

The July 13 Jazz Unlimited show is the second part of the Jazz History of St. Louis Radio Documentary.  The story of the jazz musicians of St. Louis and their relation to St. Louis history will be told in words and music by the people who were a part of that story.  The musicians and groups featured in Part Two are Red McKenzie and the Mound City Blue Blowers, Pee Wee Russell, Eddie Johnson and the St. Louis Crackerjacks, Hayes Pillars and the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra, George Hudson, Eddie Randle and the St. Louis Blue Devils, Shorty Baker, Clark Terry, Miles Davis’s trumpet teacher, Elwood Buchanon and Floyd Smith.

Some of the things revealed in the second part of the documentary include:

  • The lineage of the Cab Calloway Orchestra began in St. Louis
  • The connection of St. Louis musicians to Fats Waller
  • The disenfranchisement of minorities by the unions
  • The discovery of Jimmy Blanton by people who were actually in the room
  • Private recordings by the St. Louis Blue Devils
  • The effect that “Harlem Rhythm” on radio station WIL had on two major jazz stars from St. Louis

Check out the historical photographs in the slide show.

This Archive of the showwill be available until the morning of July 21

Here is a "soundie" with St. Louis Crackerjack graduate Don Stovall on alto sax with Henry "Red " Allen in 1946.  The rest of the band was J. C.Higginbotham (tb) Bill Thompson (p) Benny Moten (b) Alvin Burroughs (d)