Local History Index
Culture & Society
Local History Index
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KC @ 150--Lasting Legacies: 135 More
Biographical sketch of N. Clark Smith (?-1935), "[n]ationally known black musician who composed hundreds of songs, choral works and an African symphony," arriving in Kansas City "as musical director at...
KC Blues Scene Mourns Singer
December 26, 2007
Annetta "Cotton Candy" Washington, local blues singer, died December 25, 2007, at the age of 76. Her death was due to complications from a stroke. "She was a founding member of the Kansas City Blues Society...and...
KC Jazz Saxophonist Franz Bruce, 81, Dies
File containing a photo and obituary for Franz Bruce (1916-1997), "a saxophonist and longtime contributor to the Kansas City jazz scene" starting out here in the early 1930s and later playing "with the...
Keynotes: Second Generation in Tune
File containing a photo and biographical article about Bettyejo Miller, an African American jazz trombonist of Kansas City and daughter of the late Bettye Miller (dying in 1977).
File containing photos and information on Lafayette Alonzo Tillman, or Lafayette Tillman (1858-1914), the second African American police officer of Kansas City and an early barbershop singer. Native of...
File contains two programs and one advertising flyer. One program is for a concert by Marian Anderson at Ararat Temple, February 16, 1937. Located in the back of this program is a list of local African...
Mary Lou Williams
Information on Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981), born in Atlanta as Mary Elfrieda Scruggs, a prominent black jazz pianist of Kansas City. Williams came to Kansas City in 1928 as a pioneer woman jazz musician...
McBeth Asked to Perform at Democratic Convention: KC Jazz Great Is to Sing National Anthem
File containing a photo and biographical article about Ida McBeth, "one of the most popular singers on the local jazz scene for many years" and performer of "'The Star Spangled Banner' on the final day...
Missouri's Role in the Ragtime Revolution
History of ragtime music, a precursor of jazz music played mainly by African-American pianists, originating in the American Midwest in the late 19th century and giving way to jazz and blues mostly by 1910,...
Music and Reviews: Paul Robeson's First Visit a Great Success
January 26, 2027
Review of the musical performance at the "Grand Avenue Temple" by Paul Robeson, a prominent black singer with a program "entirely of negro folk songs."
Music Teacher Dies
January 1, 1948
Vertical file with photo and caption about Mrs. Arzethyr Ellis, "well known music teacher." Ellis was "founder of the Ellis School of Music which she conducted at her home, 2002 the Paseo."
Musical Quartet and Singers
African-American quartet playing music with a group of men singing.
This book contains one page personal accounts of the lives of numerous women from the Kansas City metro area, as well as their photograph. Includes singer and actress Myra Taylor.
File contains photos and information on Nadyne Brewer, an African American singer raised in Kansas City, Kansas and performing gospel and classical music pieces in the 1960s.
Night on the Town: Music Takes Big Leap from Roof
December 8, 1967
Biographical article about J. J. Douglas, a Kansas City jazz musician “who now performs with a trio at the Twelfth of Never, 3515 Troost Avenue.” Douglas recalls in the article his days of performing...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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