By Christopher Wilkinson
The coal fields of West Virginia would appear an not going marketplace for enormous band jazz through the nice melancholy. filthy rich African American viewers ruled by means of 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 indicates that, opposite to expectancies, black Mountaineers flocked to dances via the masses, frequently touring enormous distances to listen to bands led through count number Basie, Duke Ellington, Andy Kirk, Jimmie Lunceford, and Chick Webb, between a number of others. certainly, as one musician who toured the country may bear in mind, "All the bands have been goin' to West Virginia."
The comparative prosperity of the coal miners, because of New Deal commercial regulations, used to be what attracted the bands to the nation. This learn discusses that prosperity in addition to the bigger political atmosphere 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 tune and in conserving black West Virginians modern with its most up-to-date advancements. The e-book explores connections among neighborhood marketers who staged the dances and the nationwide administration of the bands that performed these engagements. In examining black audiences' aesthetic personal tastes, the writer finds that many black West Virginians hottest dancing to quite a few track, not only jazz. ultimately, the publication indicates bands now linked nearly solely with jazz have been greater than prepared to fulfill these viewers personal tastes with preparations in different types of dance music.
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Extra resources for Big Band Jazz in Black West Virginia, 1930-1942
The force of the collision also elevated to altitudes comparable to those of the Himalayas today the sequences of rock that McPhee suggested resembled the stripes of a regimental tie, the black “stripes” being the coal. Erosion over the next 150 million years then washed away the highest elevations. Around 65 million years ago, for reasons not fully understood (though plate tectonics was apparently not involved), another uplifting of much of what is now the eastern United States began. Subsequent erosion created the terrain of West Virginia we know today (Byerly and Renton 2006, 6).
Ironically named, the New River is among the planet’s oldest, rising in North Carolina, east of the mountains that it traverses in its westward course, and cutting a deep and narrow gorge for more than a hundred miles through some of the highest ridges of the Alleghenies. Though the absence of any roads through that canyon posed significant logistical problems for both surveyors of the right-of-way and construction workers who subsequently created the roadbed and laid the rails, “the New River Gorge offered the only practical route across the mountains, since the natural fall of the river provided easy grades over the most difficult terrain” (Eller 1973, 38).
The chapter concludes with an examination of several issues embedded within the history of this musical culture. I discuss the reasons why this culture flourished in West Virginia to an extent not to be observed in states lying to its east, west, or south. This is followed by reflections on the meaning of the dances themselves as social occasions within the African American world of the Mountain State. The available evidence of white Mountaineers’ interest in the music of the black bands, and how that interest was accommodated in a state that by custom, though not by law, required the racial segregation of dances is another topic of discussion.