[Dixielandjazz] What happened to Jazz?

tcashwigg at aol.com tcashwigg at aol.com
Wed Jan 10 13:18:58 PST 2007

By the mid 1950s, rock and roll, had evolved from black rhythm and 
with strong beats and sometimes risqué lyrics. The black audience had
neither been enamoured of 1930s style Dixieland, nor Bop. R & B written 
blacks for blacks, also appealed to white teenagers, for whom listening 
it over black-oriented radio stations late at night became a cult like
event. Aware of this emerging market, white performers and arrangers 
to "cover "R & B songs, toning down the beat and cleaning up the lyrics.
E.G. "Ain't That a Shame," (1955) a rock hit by, "Fats" Domino, became 
even bigger hit with a ballad-like cover by Pat Boone. This genre made 
jazz players, e.g. Louis Prima, into major stars.

**In my opinion, this was more a Censorship issue forced upon the 
public by the FCC and the powers that ran the media and Major record 
labels and radio programming,  They had to Pacify the Preachers who 
were Praying down Hell Fire and Brimstone upon the players and 
listeners who were trying to poison the minds of their and our parents 
beloved teens and turn us all into moral less savages.   For crying out 
loud the girls were wearing Slacks and short shorts and cutting their 

Then, along came Elvis, a charismatic white man who could sing with the 
energy appeal of a black man, generating an enormous following among the
white audience.

**Which by the way Ed Sullivan had real issues with in his musical 
presentations if you recall.

 Soon to be followed by The Beatles, the UK's most famous
musical export. No way was Jazz in any form going to be able to compete 
that, unless merged into it like Miles' electric funk or fusion efforts.

> There are still dozens of jazz (OKOM) bands  playing in the UK , more 
> square mile than in the States I suspect, but it is mainly club gigs 
> festivals.  Festivals are well attended but few youngsters appear.

**Again a matter of marketing to them folks, they are constantly 
searching for something new,
 and this is definitely New to most of them.

Agree that bop split the "jazz" ranks etc., and that all sorts of
innovation, experimentation occurred to take "jazz" into different
directions. But the predominant jazz form today seems to be "smooth 
here in the USA. Yeah, I know folks, some of us don't consider that as
"real" jazz, but then, we are neither the majority view, nor the folks 
define "jazz" in the 21st Century, even IF we are right.

**   If one take the time to listen to some of it with an open mind, 
you will find
  it very appealing to the advertising industry which controls the media 
in the USA,
and Smooth Jazz works well and lends itself to that area as it is often,
not intrusive into the advertising message, and they are allowed to 
listen to it, while working.

**Some of it is actually decent and enjoyable music, and some artists 
finding success reaching backwards and updating old hit songs form the 
60s, while others are,
trying to get their tunes to find their way into the bedrooms of young 
folks who have no TV, in their bedrooms yet.

** I also believe that it is only a matter of time before some of the 
smooth jazzers start to learn to take it back to dancing,
and we will see yet another surge in Jazz popularity, not unlike what 
is happening now in the USA with the Swing Dancers Clubs.

> Thats my take on it . Probably way off beam.  Exit stage left. 

Your take is on beam IMO. Right now, "I'm humming Bird's "Now's The 
:-) VBG.

Steve Barbone

Ditto; for my take on it guys:))

Tom Wiggins

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