Manage episode 295008522 series 2933185
Talk about tangents! Host Noble Sissle, Jr. begins this episode with a recording his father made with Eubie Blake and gives the background of the musicians. But then he introduces one of the co-writers of the song, Perry Bradford, and the history lesson begins.
Sissle and Blake wrote the ragtime song played in this episode, Jubilee Tonight, with additional material supplied by Bradford. Then listeners learn of the lost or mostly forgotten history of Bradford's contributions to early-recorded jazz and his struggle to get an African American female to record the blues. His dream comes true and Mamie Smith (Before Bessie Smith) becomes a sensation.
In 1957, Noble Sissle was able to get Bradford in front of his reel-to-reel tape recorder and tell the world how he fought the powers-to-be to achieve this historical moment of jazz recordings. Bradford promised those who listened that he was writing a book to tell the truth as to when and where jazz began (not New Orleans according to Bradford). After 10 years had passed and no autobiography, Sissle convinced Bradford that "jazz lovers and jazz students" should hear the story while waiting for Bradford to write the story. A rare excerpt of one of their recording session is presented in this episode.
As it turns out, Bradford's book, Born With the Blues, was published as the recording sessions ended and they were able to get the album, The Perry Bradford Story, as Told to Noble Sissle by Perry Bradford, released at the same time, each product promoting the other. What a great tangent!