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Creating Jazz CounterpointNew Orleans, Barbershop Harmony, and the Blues$
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Vic Hobson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781617039911

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617039911.001.0001

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The Bolden Legend

The Bolden Legend

(p.7) 2 The Bolden Legend
Creating Jazz Counterpoint

Vic Hobson

University Press of Mississippi

Jazzmen promoted Buddy Bolden as the legendary first man of jazz. Willy Cornish played with Bolden. Cornish was in a photograph of Bolden’s original band. Bunk Johnson too claimed to have played with Bolden but was not in the photograph. Increasingly his claims did not seem credible. This chapter argues that the photograph was “tin type” photograph. That Bolden was not a barber; he did not write for the Cricket (although a friend Otis Watts did), that it was William Spillis who died on the Labor Day March in 1906, and that it is likely that Bolden made a cylinder recording because this information came from Willy Cornish. This chapter considers Bolden’s theme tune “Buddy Bolden’s Blues” and its relationship to ragtime tunes, “The Cake Walk in the Sky” (1899) and “The St. Louis Tickle” (1904).

Keywords:   Willy Cornish, “Buddy Bolden’s Blues”, “The Cake Walk in the Sky”, “The St. Louis Tickle”, Ragtime

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