Local History Index
Culture & Society
Local History Index
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Your Kansas City and Mine
Illustration and biographical sketch of John William "Blind" Boone, or Blind Boone (1864-1927), a blind, black pianist of the late 1800s and early 1900s from Warrensburg, Missouri.
William Cooper Dies Suddenly
December 23, 1966
Vertical file with biographical article about William Cooper, "a chef for the Kansas City Southern Railroad for 25 years." Cooper, of 2638 Victor Avenue, was also "the step-father of Earl Grant, well known...
Where the Bird Rests
Photo and caption about the Lincoln Cemetery (at 8604 East Truman Road in Kansas City, Missouri) grave of Charlie Parker (1920-1955), a prominent black jazz musician nicknamed Bird in his start in 1930s...
Watkins Serves City With Love
January 11, 2002
Part of Steve Penn's Commentary column. He praises the Watkins Brothers Memorial Chapel funeral home for assisting with buriels of jazz musicians in need as well as recently with the funeral of Precious...
Unsung Heroes of Rock' n ' Roll
File containing photos and a chapter of the book about Big Joe Turner (1911-1985), a jazz and blues singer in 1920s-1930s Kansas City. Native Kansas Citian starting out here at such nightclubs as the Sunset...
Unique Piano Artistry Was Lost with the Death of Blind Boone of Missouri
February 6, 1950
Biographical article, with portrait, about John William "Blind" Boone, or Blind Boone, a blind African American pianist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in central Missouri. Boone was known for...
Travel: A Musical Rivalry along the Mississippi
Photos and article about the black jazz history of Kansas City as compared to other nationally important areas in its development such as New Orleans, Memphis, and Saint Louis. Description of important...
Transition: Farewell to a Royal Jazzman
Photo and obituary for William Basie, or Count Basie (1904-1984), leader of "some of the most explosive big bands in jazz history." Native of New Jersey coming to Kansas City in 1927 as a pianist and joining...
The Voices from Her Past: Priscilla Bowman Learned How to Sing the Blues the Hard Way
File containing a photo and biographical article about Priscilla Bowman, an African American singer raised in the Quindaro area of Kansas City, Kansas and recording the 1955 hit song "Hands Off" with Jay...
The Jazz Record Book
File containing information on the late jazz pianist Benny Moten and his Kansas City swing band of the 1920s-1930s with members such as trombonist Thamon Hayes and saxophonist Harlan Leonard.
Sophisticated Lady of Jazz
September 10, 2011
Pearl Thuston Brown is the subject of the Tribute section of the Remembrances column. "Brown was a professional musician since 1951, a singer and piano player at Kansas City nightclubs who toured with...
Songbird: Kansas City's Own Grammy-Nominated Oleta Adams Sings for Love Not Fortune or Fame
Interview of Kansas Citian "jazz, blues, and gospel" singer Oleta Adams, a black woman nominated for a Grammy Award for one of her recent albums, with photos.
Some Liked It Hot
Illustration and article about the 1930s jazz scene in Kansas City and its notable musicians and unique conditions facilitating its success"--corrupt politics--vice-ridden--boss ruled--wide open--as loud...
Robert Graham, a Sculptor of Icons, Dies
December 29, 2008
Article about the death of sculptor Robert Graham, at age 70, in Santa Monica Califoarnia. Graham was the creator of the 18-foot monument to Charlie Parker at 17th and Vine, near the American Jazz Museum....
Reflections of Bird
Photos and biographical article about Charlie Parker (1920-1955), an internationally prominent jazz saxophonist starting out in 1930s Kansas City and born in Kansas City, Kansas.
Ragtime Struts Back Home
Photos, illustrations, and biographical article about Scott Joplin (1868-1917), the "King of Ragtime" music. He was born in Texas and moved to Sedalia, Missouri, about 1894, becoming one of the first commercially...
Play: Not Without Laughter
Chapter focuses on the music or club scene in Kansas City in the 1920s and 1930s. "Kansas City provided a setting for the grooming and maturation of some of the country's most important jazz voices". A...
P. S.: A Farewell to Oliver
Obituary and biographical about Oliver Cleo Todd, or Oliver Todd, a "[j]azz pioneer" and "old friend of Charlie Parker" dying at the age of 85 in 2001. Former "member of the Hottentots, a group that received...
File contains photos and information on Oleta Adams, an African American jazz singer and pianist of Kansas City, Kansas since the late 1970s. Raised in Washington and leaving for Houston in the 1980s and...
Night on the Town: Organist Says Music Cures Ills
File containing a photo and biographical article about Reginald Buckner, an African American music teacher at Northeast Junior High School in Kansas City, Kansas and "organist-leader of a 4-man combo that...
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