[Dixielandjazz] Re: Chasing the Devil's Tail/Buddy Bolden

D and R Hardie darnhard at ozemail.com.au
Fri Apr 2 15:24:24 PST 2004

Hi all,
Poor Buddy Bolden. I thought Michael Ondaatje and Danny Barker had  
already done enough to slander the man. Will they ever stop  
fictionalising him? Who is this St Cyr person? Is he a cousin of Booboo  
Dan Hardie
Check out  The Loudest Trumpet at

On Thursday, April 1, 2004, at 10:54  AM, Dan Augustine wrote:

> Folks--
>     Filling the apparent conversational lacunae with what is probably  
> only dross, i herewith commend to your attention a book i just started  
> reading called _Chasing the Devil's Tail_ by David Fulmer (2001,  
> Harcourt Books).  I haven't seen it mentioned in DJML, and i only  
> stumbled across it a couple of days ago serendipitously while persuing  
> some other wraith through the ether.
>     Here's what Publishers Weekly (never the most critical of organs)  
> has to say about the book:
> "Storyville, New Orleans, the most historic red-light district in the  
> United States, where the music of Jelly Roll Morton and "King" Buddy  
> Bolden is ushering in the jazz age, provides the stage for this  
> riveting and provocative debut mystery of sex, alcohol, drugs,  
> insanity and murder. When two prostitutes are found murdered and  
> marked with a black rose, Tom Anderson, political boss and the "King  
> of Storyville," calls in Creole detective Valentin St. Cyr. While the  
> death toll mounts, St. Cyr doesn't want to believe that all  
> indications point to his childhood friend, Buddy Bolden. Bolden, who  
> has risen to fame with the "jass" music of his horn, has become more  
> than erratic in his behavior. As St. Cyr watches his friend  
> self-destruct, he wonders if Buddy is indeed the killer. The author  
> vividly describes early 20th-century New Orleans, from the large and  
> elegant houses of the madams to the infested rooms of the crib girls  
> that reflect the distinct and rigid caste system of the day. After a  
> frustrating investigation, the pieces of the puzzle come together in a  
> surprising and satisfying conclusion. Fulmer's use of historical  
> figures such as Tom Anderson, Buddy Bolden, piano player Ferdinand  
> LeMenthe (who would later be known as Jelly Roll Morton), E.J.  
> Bellocq, the photographer of New Orleans whores, and the famous madam  
> Lulu White authenticate an already believable and spellbinding story,  
> which will echo in the reader's mind like the mournful notes of good  
> blues."
>     The year set is 1907, and so far i like it, perhaps more for the  
> nitty-gritty feel of the milieu than for any revelations in Bolden  
> research. It's primarily a detective novel, not a portrayal of Buddy  
> Bolden, but it is interesting, and i thought i'd mention it for those  
> who might want to read it. I saw it online at Amazon.com, but i bought  
> my copy at Barnes and Noble (quality-paperback size, $14.00).
>     Dan
> --  
> **-------------------------------------------------------------------- 
> **
> **  Dan Augustine     Austin, Texas     ds.augustine at mail.utexas.edu   
> **
> **       "The Texan turned out to be good-natured, generous and        
> **
> **        likable. In three days no one could stand him."              
> **
> **                      --Joseph Heller, _Catch-22_                    
> **
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