[Dixielandjazz] Re: Honky Tonks

Dan Augustine ds.augustine at mail.utexas.edu
Fri Feb 27 15:59:34 PST 2004

     Here's another idea of where the term 'honky tonk' came from, 
from http://www.honkytonks.org/ :

     "The origin of "honky-tonk" is unknown, according to
      Merriam-Webster. But The New York Times' Ed Boland
          "... many musicians say the term, which can
         mean a type of ragtime music or a tawdry nightclub,
         stems from Tin Pan Alley. In the early 1900's,
         every music production company had a piano in the
         office, and from the street you could hear people
         banging away. Many of these pianos were made by
         William Tonk & Brothers at 10th Avenue and 35th
         Street. The pianos and the sounds they made soon
         became known as honky tonk."
      Q+A in FYI Section of New York Times' City Section
      Sunday, July 6, 2003"

     There's also a short discussion of honky tonk at:
     (but i like Steve's idea about the goose better, with effusive 
apologies to all bass-sax players everywhere, but especially in 

>Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 16:10:13 -0500
>From: Stephen Barbone <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
>Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Honky Tonks
>Hi List mates:
>Lots of literature is available that calls those clubs in New Orleans,
>shortly after 1900, "Honky Tonks". King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Danny
>Barker, Jelly Roll Morton and others are all listed as having played in
>Honky Tonks from about 1910 onward.
>In the book "Louis Armstrong In His Own Words", Pops talks about various
>"honky tonks" such as the one at Gravier & Franklin Streets where he
>heard Bunk Johnson play, and the "honky tonk" where he met Daisy etc.
>Also, I think JRM wrote a tune called "Honky Tonk Blues" way before Hank
>Williams did.
>Steve Barbone
>PS. Some dictionaries suggest that "Honky Tonk" may be related the word
>"honk", the sound that a goose makes, and used to describe the "honking
>of a bass sax", or "tailgate trombone".

**  Dan Augustine    Austin, Texas   ds.augustine at mail.utexas.edu     **
**      "Half this game is 90 percent mental."                        **
**          --  Manager Danny Ozark, on baseball.                     **

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