Est. 1997


s the decade began, the spring-wound talking machine with pre-electrical, no-fidelity sound was already established and probably the most popular of the home entertainment devices; the best selling makes were the Victrola and the Graphanola.
Radio stations were mushrooming across the United States in the 1920s.  In March of 1922, the Atlanta Journal opened up WSB in Atlanta, the first radio station in the south.  Six months later on September 9, Fiddlin' John Carson made his radio debut, one of the first country music performers to modulate the airwaves.

The Grand Ole Opry, originally known as the WSM Barn Dance, made its inaugural broadcast on November 28, 1925.

In the 1920s, Ma Rainey, "The Mother of the Blues," became a featured performer on the T.O.B.A (Theater Owners Booking Association) circuit.  Before signing a recording contract with Paramount Records in 1923, Rainey had almost a quarter century's worth of stage work to her credit.

Columbia Record Star Bessie Smith appeared in person at The Palace Theatre on Beale Avenue in Memphis the week of September 10th, 1923.

King Oliver is a legend in Jazz history.  As a trumpet player, he was strongly influenced by Buddy Bolden whom he imitated, but Oliver soon became a Jazz stylist in his own right. In the end, the designation of "king," which Bolden had long assumed, became Oliver's--particularly after one memorable night in Storyville

In the early 1920s, Louis Armstrong joined King Oliver in Chicago--playing solos with Fletcher Henderson at the Roseland Ballroom in New York and making jazz history with the Hot Five.

Cow Cow Davenport was one of the earliest boogie-woogie pianists.

Sippie Wallace was born in Texas and carried with her a tradition of Texas-styled blues that emphasized risque` lyrics and rough-cut, rural vocal phrasing rather than the sophisticated accents of the era's more cosmopolitan blues singers.  Although her recording career stretched throughout most of the 20s, her best work was done from 1923 to 1927 when the likes of Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dodds, Sidney Bechet, and Clarence Williams accompanied her in the recording studio.

Big Bill Broonzy moved to Chicago, Illinois.

Blind Lemon Jefferson recorded over eighty blues tunes between 1925 and 1929 and was generally responsible for the surge of popularity in the country blues in this period.

During the mid-1920s, the unexpectedly strong sales of Blind Lemon Jefferson's Paramount 78s sent record scouts scrambling to sign male blues artists.  One of their best discoveries was Blind Blake, a swinging, sophisticated guitarist whose warm, relaxed voice was a far cry from harsh country blues.

Josephine Baker and the charleston.

Charlie Poole developed a three-fingered banjo playing technique after a baseball accident injured his right hand. This technique influenced many banjo players and would later be perfected by Earl Scruggs.

Ralph Peer recorded Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family in Bristol, Tennessee in 1927.  Rodgers, known as "The Father of Country Music," reportedly sold over 20 million records in the six years of his career.

Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers was the most prolific of the Georgia string bands of the 20s and 30s in terms of number of recordings.

Blind Willie McTell recorded his first sides for the Victor company in 1927 in Atlanta.

October 28, 1928, Thomas Dorsey, AKA Georgia Tom and Tampa Red recorded It's Tight Like That.

Memphis Minnie signed with Columbia records in 1929.

Charlie Patton and Son House defined early Delta blues in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

By Carl P. McConnell