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The sun. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1916-1920, February 09, 1919, Section 6 Special Feature Magazine, Image 72

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Mr. Kingsley is the most pro
four.d authority on jazz, which has
swept over this country and is now
invading Europe. Maurice is now
teaching the shimmy dance in Paris
to Jazz music to French pupils. Mr.
Kingsley has interviewed every
artist of the Keith circuits who
might have been by way of picking
up any information on the subject
and they have brought back to the
Palace Theatre much light on a
topic that has mystified the lighter
musical authorities. The impor
tance of "jazz" may be understood
from the degree to which it has
supplanted the earlier and simpler
syncopation we knew as ragtime.
rAZZ" 13 a teasing, provocative
monosyllable; It Bets folks
dancing, shimmying, swaying.
finger snapping. Tho word has a rasp
Xor the nerves that react in steps
synchronizing with supersyncopatlon.
"Whence comes the noun "Jazz" and
th verb "to Jazz"? What sublime
genius of the lowest common denomi
nator of music coined this pandemic
As head of the bureau of research of
the B. K. Keith Vaudeville Circuit I
havo delved deeply Into folk lore of tlio
African west coast, the Mississippi
delta, the Barbary coaat and the Chi
cago underworld on the trail of Jazz.
In a previous article for The Sun I
described the primitive Jazz music of
the. native African and tho trans
planted darkey of tho plantations; I
told how It crept up the levees from
New Orleans and rode the bumpers
cast from Ban Francisco. It remains
to tell tho history of Jazz since It be
came the musical paprika of a dance
mad generation and, quitting the
underworld, set out to rule tho dance
floors of public places and tho ball
rooms of private homes.
Twenty years ago a blind newsboy
of New Orleans known to all tho river
city as "Stale Bread" mastered a few
Volues" and "hesitations" and acquir
ing a fiddle from Al Q. Flelds's Mln
etrels set out to play his way Into
local fatno on the street corners. Ho
collected crowds and aold papers. One
by one other newsboys with an car
for exotic rhythms and barbaric
chords Joined him until lie had a band
of live motley musicians which ho
christened "Stalo Bread's Spasm Band"
to the delight of New Orleans, whoso
inhabitants still consider "spasm mu
nlc" a mora pictorial and satisfying
term than "Jazz music."
Ilarreil In I'olllo Plncr.
This was street music and tho po
lite resorts of New Orleans would
have none of it, though It flourished In
the resorts of horizontals. This fact
prejudiced fashionable Now Orleans
against the lawless music of "Stale
Bread's Spasm Band," One gifted mu. I
slclan, John Sprlcclo, loved Jazz for lUs
own sake and revelling In "blus" and
tricky syncopations he taught his
violin pupils whnt we now call Jazz
long before It won a place In tho sun.
Now comes the daybreak of Jazz.
In 191& Bert Kelly was playing In
the College Inn, Chicago, with an or
chestra mado up of himself, drums and
director; Wheeler Wudtmorlh (now
with Lucllo Cavanagh), saxapjiono;
William Ahearn, U. if. A., piano, and
Sam Baum, drummer. Thin quartet
played "blues" and "hesitations" undi
quaint syncopated melodies, and wero
quite tho craze In the night life of
Thomas Melghan, tho movie star,
gavo a party one night for movie folk
end had the Kelly bund for dance
music in the party were such famous
folk as Emmy Wuhlen, Julian Kltlngc.
Jeanne Kagels and Graco George. Mo
tion pictures wero taken by Richard
Travers of Essunay, and on tho film
showing the musicians ho placed n
caption reading, "The Originators of
Jazz." Thereafter It was tho "Jazz
Band," and tho word has now Invaded
Europe. That party really htartod the
jeountrywldo vogue of jazz music.
Jazz Has Remarkable History as a Fad
Starting Twenty Years Ago in New Orleans It Has Swept From Coast to Coast and Is Invading
Europe Exponents in Bitter Dispute as to Origin Broadway Historian Settles Question
Kelly and his band are now playing
for Frisco and making a musical hit
of their own.
It was Itaymond Lopez, now with
Blossom Secley, who first muted his
cornet with a derby hat, and Tom
Brown of New Orleans was the pioneer
In using a hat on his trombone for
effects. Jugs were tried by colored Jazz
artists, but wero never adopted by
white musicians, who declared them
"honkytonk" and "no clous." The
slouchy Jazz musician gets effects with
a squealing saxophone and by playing
off key. The three great clarinet play
ers of Jazz are "Yellow" Nunez at
Relsenweber's, Gus Mueller, now In the
army he can play Jazz In any key
and Lawrence Shields of tho Dixieland
Jazz Band. "Yellow" Nunez Is tho
only man who can take his clarinet
to pieces down to the mouthpiece and
keep up with the band.
Bert Kelly Is the Jazz pioneer north
of the Mason-DI.xon line. He knows
more about Jazz than any man living
outside, of tho famous Jazz professor of
New Orleans, John Sprlcclo, the vet
eran violinist All the famous Jazz
artists In this country have imitated
him or his pupils. He was playing
Detection of Moonshiners in City Especially Difficult, but
Raids Are Increasing and Force Must Expand
HOW will the great city of New
York with Its cosmopolitan
population, Its pleasure seek
ing visitors, act when it is brought
face to face -with a condition of pro
hibition? Already some of the best minds in
tho Government; tho best minds in
that body which brought about this
revolutionary legislation the Anti
Saloon League; the keenest minds of
tho liquor Interests, and thousands of
resourceful persona who say they will
not bo deprived of their liquor, are
busily working.
Now that prohibition is about to be
come law, tho Government minds are
principally concerned with Its enforce
ment. It Is plain to bo seen that In
this situation tho Government will
have the complete aid of the Anti
Saloon League. Already this body,
through its officers, admit that they
are stunned at the tremendous task of
enforcing the law. For 2,000 years or
more liquor was to be had In the world.
And it is admitted that the enforce
ment of tho act will require super
human work at tho outset.
May Seek Full Enforcement. '
It is hard to analyze what is going
on In the minds of the men who manu
facturo liquor. Evidently they believe
In tho old legal bromide that tho
"surest way to obtain the repeal of an
unpopular law Is to enforce it to the
letter." And from reports that are
coming to me from confidential sources,
this may bo tho final tack of the vast
liquor Interests,
Resourceful persons, I am told, are
planning to havo their liquor despite
nil tho laws and law officers. There
have been many Ideas advanced, some
serious and other bordering on the
berlo-comlc. This ofllco was told tho
other day of n plan of several wealthy
men to incorporate and establish a club
on ono of the nearby Islands within a
day's sail of New York where they
might go for week end trips to satisfy
their yeArnlng for the flowing bowl.
Thero has been talk of anchoring
several craft outside tho three mile
limit where all kinds of drinks might
be had. Apparently Ujere has been
I Jazz and "blues" a generation before
I they reached Chicago. Bert Kelly be-
Igan with four men in his Jazz band.
He now has five and plays a banjo
himself Instead of a cornet, which In-
stnimonts, in his words, "blatts too
j much."
I Kelly and his "Frisco Four" were
I dubbed a "Jazz band" In 1916, as al
ready stated. In 1906 Brown's band
' from Dixieland canie to Chicago direct
from New Orleans. They knew all the
old negro melodies, with the variations
play ed by S prlcclo, and once Kelly heard
them ho knew that Jazz and "blues"
wero going to be popular, to he signed
up clarinets and cornets who Jazzed.
This bunch from New Orleans played
by ear entirely.
Dixieland Hand In Town.
Horry Fitzgerald brought Brown's
band from the Iambs Cafe, Chicago, to
New York and tried them out all over
town, but Broadway waa not ready for
them. They went Into vaudeville as
tho Five Rubes and then broke up.
Raymond Lopez, cornet, returned to
Chicago and Joined Kelly, but the
others returned to New Orleans.
"Yellow" Nunez, who had been guitar
"Big Bill" Edwards Pessimistic About Prohibition
little secret mode of the fact that tho
rich man and the man of moderate
means who feels that he must have his
liquor have laid in a stock to last them
some years to come.
Of course there is no guarantee that
this liquor will escape the scrutiny of
the Government; for no doubt in the
enforcement of the law Government
agents will be given the right to search
dwellings for liquor. That will prob-
aby be one of the most drastic pro
visions nnd may be ono of the hardest
and most expensive to carry out.
While tho loss in revenue to the
United States will be tremendous
nearly half a billion having been col
lected in the country last year It has
been plain that for many years liquor
has been declining In Importance as a
source of revenue.
New Ilerenue Sources Tupped.
New sources have been tapped. Of
the total internal revenue collections In
191-1, the Individual and corporation
Income taxes constituted less than 16
per cent. In 101S they constituted
more than 80 per cent. Straight in
come taxes collected in 1914 were less
than 161,000.000; In 1918 the collections
were almost $3,000,000,000. Alcoholic
beverages In 1&14 yielded about 70 per
tent, of the total tax. For 1918 col
lections from this source were not
much more than 12 per cent, of the
total levy.
"How has the law worked out In
States where prohibition has obtained
for several years?" was the question I
put to one of the most expert revenue
officers in my department, a man who
was born in tho mountainous districts
of North Carolina, who mixed with
and fought with moonshiners, who has
given the best years of hla life to the
Government service, and who is as
clever at nabbing the proprietor of a
still In ft basement In a congested ten
ement section- of New York as he Is
In tho (Blue nidge mountains of Vir
"It hasn't worked out," is what he
His statement to mo (and Govern
ment reports bear him out) is to tho
effect that since North Carolina went
dry there have boen more blockaded
stills than evor before in the history
of that State. This applies to nil
States In the South, he sayB. a rev
enue agent at Atlanta, Ga,, recency
player for John Sprlcclo, the daddy of
Jazz, brought the original Dixieland
Jazz Band to Chicago in 1917. They
played In moro or less Important re
sorts In Chicago In 1917, often appear
ing without coats and all shimmying.
Max Hart brought them to Relsen
weber's In , Now York, where they
scored an Instantaneous and lasting hit.
They did phonograph records of their
"Livery Stable Ulues," which they had
adapted from the "Moro I'ower Blues"
and Into which "Yellow" Nunez put
breaks and pony calls and to which
Trombone Edwards added neighing.
All this, however, was derived from the
New Orleans blacks and John 8prlcclo.
Nunez sold tho number to Roger
Graham. Larocca, the cornet of the
band, claimed It and the case wont to
court. Judge Carpenter asked Nunez
to define "blues," whereupon he made
his famous reply:
"Judge, blues Is blues."
Tho court held that "blues" could
not bo copyrighted, Inasmuch as they
could not be described and orches
trated. Kelly says that ragtlmo Is not
exact syncopation and "blues" are not
exact harmony.
Jazz Is mighty Interesting. It stems
declared that In the brief time he had
been there he had unearthed S56 Illicit
dealers. Many revenue officers had
been killed, he declared, and It would
take several regiments of soldiers com
pletely to wipe out the stills.
Raids on illicit stills In Now York
city are becoming more frequent every
day. This ofllco has been Informed, In
anonymous communications, of several
places whnro beer is being made In
homes. With the limited men at our
commanl It Is nearly lmposslblo to
cover every section in tho metropolitan
area. Of course we can malco an effort
to minimize tho making of beer, wines
and liquers, but one of tho leading
revenue investigators told me the other
day that ticro aren't enough rcvenuo
officers In tho United States to stop
completely the manufacture of liquor
In Now Y'ork city homos.
Thero have been a suspicious num
ber of small "grocory stores" opened
In basements. A grocery store gives
a man the right to have the Ingredients
for liquor sugar, grain, &t sent in,
All he needs then la an ordinary stove
and a weather eye open for tho revenue
In the Southern stills principally
grain Is used, but this Is hardly feasi
ble here, because tho grain might clog
up the sewers und Is easily traced. Wo
have found in our raids on tho city
stills that tho makers of Illicit whiskey
have used molasses, sugar, potato peel
ings, Ac.
Idem of nerennc Man.
Another revenue officer, a man who
served his apprenticeship in tho South
and has led raids for several years In
the heart of New York city, mado this
statement to mo;
"Most of tho killings of rovonuo ofil
cera In the South occur from an am
buscade. Revenue officers first locato
the stills. They have maps drawn of
every llttlo country road to guide thorn.
Thoy havo maps of two different routes,
If they antlclpato troublo on ono road
they take tho other. Shooting Is only
done whon the revenue officers aro on
their way to tho still. Directly tho
moonshiners get eight of the rcvenuo
officers thoy always have a lookout
who gives tho alarm they take to
their heels,
"Each revenue ofllcor In the South
Is equipped with a Winchester re-
FEBRUARY 9, 1919.
from the African Jungle via tho slave
ships and the plantations. Old John
Sprlcclo of New Orleans knows nil
the music of the darkles, and some
terprlslng writer of popular melo.ll .
ought to visit him. He Is responsible
for Jazz melodies and Bert Kelly
originated the Jazz band.
Inasmuch as the pioneers of Jazz
music are quarreling over credit to
an extent that led the police to bo
called nut recently In Harlem when
two Jazz bands met outside the stage
door of the Alhambra Theatre, It Is
necessary to submit a sworn state
ment by Bert Kelly. This Is exhibit
A In the great musical controversy
which Is raging wherever Jazz players
"Tho phrase 'Jazz band' was first
used by Bert Kelly In Chicago In the
fall of 1915 and was unknown In New
Orleans. In March, 1916, the tlrst New
Orleans band of cornet, clarinet, trom
bone, drums and piano arrived in Chi
cago to play In tho Lambs' Cafe; It
was called 'Brown's Band from Dixie
land.' Tho band was brought from
New Orleans on recommendation of
Frisco, who was then dancing In the
Lambs' Cafe. Note they did not use
tho 'Jazz band.' The band consisted
of Tom Brown, trombono (how with
Bert Kelly's Jazz Band): Raymond
Lopez, cornet (now with Blossom
feeley) ; Gus Mueller, clarinet. United
States Army; William Lambert, drums.
United States Army.
"This was the first and by far the
best band that ever came from New
Orleans. Gus Mueller, clarinet player.
Joined Kelly In tfio prln; of 191C and
was placed at White City, Chicago,
with tho following combination: Gus
Mueller, clarinet; C. O. Brush, banjo;
Fred Miller, saxophone; Jack O'Neill,
piano, and Fred Oxenius, drums. At
this time Harry James's meteoric ca
reer as a cafe manager was starting
and he was In charge of the Boosters'
Club In tho Hotel Morrison, Chicago,
and had a ladies' orchestra playing for
his dancing.
I'irnt Ad vrrllarment of Jass.
"Kelly approached him with a propo
sition to furnish him with better music,
but he could not seo Kelly's figures.
Kelly advised James to raise his prices
and print cards for his tables reading:
'On account of the big expenses of hir
ing Bert Kelly's Jazz Band for the en
1 ' ! m
tertainment of our patrons It has been
necessary to ralso the prices aa fol
lows:' &c.
"This was In tho fall of 1916. and
the land from White City was tho
first band ever to be advertised as a
Jazz band It was a big success, and
In the spring of 1917 James sent to
New Orleans for the Original Dixie
land Jazz Band nnd Insisted upon their
using the words 'Jazz band.'
"Tills was In 1917, and the Original
Dixieland Jazz Band was the first New
Orleans band to use the term, while
Bert Kelly used It In 1915. Bert Kelly
had about twenty orchtstras known as
Bert Kelly's Jazz Band, and when tho
Dixieland arrived they adopted their
name of 'Original Dixieland Jazz
Band." "
A. J. Baquet, the "first and origi
nal" Jazz clnrlnet player, is now at
the Alamo Cafe In 125th street. Ho
was born and raised In New Orleans
and comes of French. Spanish and
Indian ancestry. At tho start of his
career he played entirely by ear, but
later learned to read music and took
n course In classical music under Prof.
Santo Julffre. This enables him to de
velop more difficult syncopations and
Experience of Revenue Men in South
Shows Jump in Illicit Distilling
peatlng rifle, a .4 i calibre revolver
and an oxo which resembles a toma
hawk. Tho axe Is used to smash tho
still Into a million pieces. Most of the'
feuds In the South start In this way:
A man without any money goes to a
blockade still and aski for liquor on
credit. Refused, he geta sore and tips
off the revenue office. Hundreds of
lives have boen lost In theso feuds.
It frequently has happened that after
a raid and a loss of life tho chief
blockade distiller would bo mado n
revenue officer. Invariably this man,
once with tho Government, made the
Ideal one, He was loyal, had plenty
of nervo and know Jmt where to locate
Ihn stills.
"Locating a still in tho mountains
of tho South Is a great deal paster
thnn locating one In tho crowded sec
tions of New York. As water is
needed In tho making of tho whiskey
stills In tho South must bo located on
streams. As they have no way of
hlSIng tho waste they pour It out on
tho stream's bank nnd you can get the
odor for two or three mllos. Camp
ing parties and travellers in tho
mountains sometimes havo pleasant
existences. AVhen they get the smell
they 'hit the trail (not the Billy Sun
day trail') and finally arrive at the
still, After they havo satisfied tho
Illicit distillers that they aro not
revenue officers tho mountaineers aro
tho finest entortalncrs in the world.
Tried (u nun Them Out.
"When I was a young fellow, with
severnl others I started on a- camping
trip In tho mountains of North Caro
lina, At nightfall on tho first day wo
pitched our tonts In a remote section
of the mountains. We had hardly
ssttled ourselves when a determined
looking fellow ramo to us and s.ild
that wo would havo tn clear out. It
developed thut wo wero In tho lm
medlato vicinity of a still. Wo were
alarmed and wo sent word back that
wo Intended to stay all night nnd If
tho morning didn't show n 'pretty day
meaning good weather fur rrinvin'g
cntnp wo would stay theio until It
was n 'pretty .lay Wn wi rrn't
bothered. Of course thut was su.tne
years before I ton-nine a recnuo offi
cer To-day tho mountains uro dottej
with stills,
variations than do tho players by car
alone. Ho has developed a school
of Jazz and clarinetists.
Baquet is a student of his art and
enjoys a high standing among h.s
fellow Jazz artists. It Is interesting
to note how he works out the animal
effect and imitations In "The Livery
Stoblo Blues." He explains:
"The band makes a sudden stop or
break in the second part of the mini-
, ber, tho clarinet taking as a solo
I a rooster crow Imitation, followed bv a
j cornet solo. In regular dance tempo,
i Imitating a horse neighing or pony
calling. This Is followed by a trom
' bono solo Imitating tho 'mnolng of a
) cow. Then the whole band falls In
i together."
Sophie Tucker's Shore In It.
Sophlo Tucker la an Innovator !n
j Jazz music and It was she who first
introduced shimmy dancing to New
York. She did a shrug of tho shoul
ders and a wriggle of the arms which
might be called "pollto shimmy" na
compared to what passes current In
cabarets nowadays.
Her Instructions to tho Jazz band:
for effects with "Shimmy Blu," and
"Another Good Man Gone Wrong,"
bid fair to be classics wherever drums,
clarinets, cornets, saxophones nr.J
trombones mingle In tho new music.
"I find It a great deal harder t d.--cover
a still In New York than in the
South. It Is Hko looking for tin ;ro
verblal needle in a haystack. 'J'!-..
are Just two ways of finding one n ; "
city. Ono Is through a tip to i r M -M
police and tho other Is by ship:: Wi'h
tho many odors In the congest..!
Hons of New York tho scent I., i : '
keen as it is In tho pure nlr cf '-
Southern mountains. In the tn :.
tnlns a still may be spottfd !n tne
rmoko rising in tho air. Of i--i:fo
there 1h no such clue to the city .-t.ll."
8mnll SU1L on Salt-.
What might be called small ft!'.!',
but are not used for the man uf.ii t-jre
of liquor, are on sain In many i-'-.- s in
New York. They nre used by ' 'R
manufacturers. To-day, howowr. : ,J
cannot buy ono without rrglster tv '
purchase. I suppose there I '
moro drastic regulations for
of the.su outfits when tho pr lu. -. n
law U In Us final shape for i-: i '
ment. Reports coming to this office fi -n 1
parts of tho country are to tin- f.f t
that many persons aro engaged m
manufacture of mlnlatuto t. tills i r
homo. Indeed, some of them ur. .J
vertlsod. While tho term illicit illsll.li-
tn find a particular appllcatl.n u- '
South, this office has to-i n in: r: !
that in tho country' district in the im
mediate vicinity of tho nu-tiop
that Is to say. on Long Island, l i -noctlcut
and New Jersey, und r
dlMrlcts up State there dal-
springing up plenty of miil"'.s '
"hinting tho law." Take the nur.'.Mc
turo of wino, for Instuiue .t w
iy for any pcrs.m to tuki
of grapes into the cellar if U. f.;l--houte,
squeozo tlifin, and M nr 10
Wko Its course. Kvery farn.'-r l. ",s
how easy It Is to make i ' .' 1 11
Obviously tho literal -nfrc ' ' ,f
tho prohibition law is huiv '' 1 -' '
groat job. How It Is. going to w r -
limn alonn win tell, wniie '
i If tho da'-M i! the corner 1 -
nfrs aii- tliioimd, no i..
' 'urnii'il w.ll haw.1 " t,ue- ' i
i 'ti pli llil.i .on M 1 be n f '
lay the ia.t m iiuppu.N . '

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