[Dixielandjazz] Tribute to Leslie Johnson and The Mississippi Rag

Robert S. Ringwald ringwald at calweb.com
Sat Aug 9 09:45:42 PDT 2003

Forwarded by: 
Bob Ringwald
mr.wonderful at ringwald.com
Placerville, CA USA

>      Here's my tribute to Leslie Johnson and The
> Mississippi Rag.  
--Bob Byler, Contributing Editor.  

> I hope others will also write
> about the RAG's dedicated service to America's great
> music.
> Contact info:  The Mississippi Rag, 9448 Lyndale Ave.,
> #120, Bloomington, MN 55420.  Email:
> editor at mississippirag.com.  Website:
> www.mississippirag.com.  Phone (952) 885-9918.
> Subscription address:  P. O. Box 19068, Minneapolis,
> MN 55419. (Subs: 1year, $24 U.S., $28 elsewhere; 2
> year $42 U.S., $54 elsewhere)
> Letter to the Editor:
>      A milestone in jazz history occurred in November
> 1973 when publisher Leslie Johnson created The
> Mississippi Rag at Minneapolis.  Fans worldwide now
> read the publication that has helped revitalize
> classic jazz for 30 years.
>      Like the music it celebrates, the RAG overcame
> growing pains and midlife crises to become strong and
> mature. A dedicated core group began this labor of
> love, and about 100 journalists, fans and musicians
> are now contributors.
>      Thousands of performers have been seen in the
> RAG's world-class gallery of photos.  Its articles are
> admired for careful research and lively exploration of
> "our kind of music."  Reviews have won recognition for
> hundreds of bands. Fans use its lists of clubs and
> events as an essential atlas for jazz journeys.
>      The RAG's 25-year index shows 961 feature
> articles, 344 obituaries, 516 festivals or conventions
> covered  and over 4,200 reviews of recordings or
> books.  Its 30-year figures will be up about
> one-third, because of its growth in size.  Early
> issues were 16 pages.  It grew to 48 pages on the 20th
> anniversary and expanded to two sections for most
> issues since 1998.
>      Louis Armstrong was featured in eight indexed RAG
> articles and Doc Cheatham, Bud Freeman, Bunk Johnson,
> Scott Joplin and Jelly Roll Morton in five or more
> each.  Primary first-year contributors still active
> are Butch Thompson, Paige Van Vorst, Joe Klee, William
> Schafer, Dennis Johnson, Jody Lindstrom and, of
> course, Leslie Carole Johnson Shapira, editor and
> publisher.
>      I began in December 1974 and have contributed
> about 2,500 photos, over 100 articles, covered
> festivals nationally and reviewed books and
> recordings.  I'm honored to serve an editor whose
> journalistic skills, creativity and integrity are so
> widely admired.  So here's a salute to "Saint Leslie"
> and the "Bible" that inspires classic jazz
> worshippers.  Let's hope for a bright future for our
> music and missionary support by The Mississippi Rag.
> Amen
>      Bob Byler, a contributing editor to The
> Mississippi Rag
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