By Christopher Wilkinson
The coal fields of West Virginia would appear an not going marketplace for colossal band jazz throughout the nice melancholy. wealthy African American viewers ruled via these concerned with the coal used to be there for jazz excursions would appear both inconceivable. Big Band Jazz in Black West Virginia, 1930-1942 exhibits that, opposite to expectancies, black Mountaineers flocked to dances through the masses, many times touring significant distances to listen to bands led by way of count number Basie, Duke Ellington, Andy Kirk, Jimmie Lunceford, and Chick Webb, between various others. certainly, as one musician who toured the country might keep in mind, "All the bands have been goin' to West Virginia."
The comparative prosperity of the coal miners, because of New Deal commercial rules, used to be what attracted the bands to the country. This examine discusses that prosperity in addition to the bigger political surroundings 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 protecting black West Virginians brand new 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 reading black audiences' aesthetic personal tastes, the writer unearths that many black West Virginians hottest dancing to a number of tune, not only jazz. ultimately, the ebook indicates bands now linked nearly solely with jazz have been greater than keen to meet these viewers personal tastes with preparations in different sorts of dance music.
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Additional info for Big Band Jazz in Black West Virginia, 1930-1942
There is usually enough incline in the seams to provide good drainage and make hauling easy.... Over most of the field the strata are strong enough to provide stable roofs in the mines, so that the minimum of timbering is required.... And a major factor in their favor was the thickness of the seams. Through a large area the Pocahontas Number Three seam runs from six to twelve feet. (Lambie 1954, 40–41) The Role of Blacks in Building West Virginia’s Industrial Infrastructure Before West Virginia’s coal could impress consumers with its extraordinary quality, it had to be shipped out of the state to the ports and industries of the Eastern Seaboard and to the steel mills and factories of the Midwest.
A particular word of thanks is due Ellen Ressmeyer, Archivist at the Drain-Jordan Library of West Virginia State University in Institute, West Virginia. Over a period of several years she painstakingly collected as many issues as she could locate of the student newspaper, the Yellow Jacket, from the period when West Virginia State College, as it was formerly known, was one of the principal black colleges in the nation. Thanks to her efforts, it was possible to reconstruct the social and musical life of this institution in a time of racial segregation.
Virginia? Yes. West Virginia? In response, Hall made the statement quoted above. One does not associate the idea that “everyone was employed” with the Great Depression; massive, persistent unemployment was one of the defining characteristics of that period. One does not associate West Virginia with the comparative prosperity that steady employment might bring, particularly in a period of the nation’s history when so many were in desperate economic straits. It was certainly not that way in the spring of 1960 when John F.
Big Band Jazz in Black West Virginia, 1930-1942 by Christopher Wilkinson