Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression

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Photograph of Jimmy Keith posed with his tenor saxophone and his band in silhouette behind him. This Christie studio photograph was likely taken in the late 1930s or early 1940s.

Reproduction of a photograph of saxophonist Earl Malcolm "Jock" Caruthers, Sr. (1910-1971). Caruthers played extensively in St. Louis and Kansas City throughout his life.

Date: 
1940

T. H. Holder’s orchestra posed with instruments; Claude Williams on left end. Source: Claude Williams.

Studio portrait of George E. Lee Singing Novelty Orchestra posed playing instruments, ca. 1926. Pictured from left are an unidentified trombonist; Bob Garner, clarinet; Thurston "Sox" Moppins, trombone; George E. Lee, baritone saxophone & vocals; Chester Clark, trumpet; Julia Lee (George's sister), piano & vocals; and an unidentified drummer. Source: Charles Goodwin.

Date: 
1926

Studio portrait of George E. Lee Singing Novelty Orchestra posed with their instruments, ca. 1926. Pictured: Bob Garner, clarinet; Thurston "Sox" Moppins, trombone; George E. Lee, baritone saxophone & vocals; Chester Clark, trumpet; Julia Lee (George's sister), piano & vocals; et al.. Source: Charles Goodwin.

Date: 
1926

Texas Tommies in posed shot in mock saloon at Hot Springs, Arkansas, 1926. Phil Baxter shown center behind the bar. Source: Cliff Haliburton.

Date: 
1926

Texas Tommies in posed shot on stage at Submarine Ballroom, May 15, 1936. Phil Baxter shown standing third from right. The Submarine Ballroom was located in the Bright Building at the southeast corner of 31st Street and Prospect Avenue. Source: Cliff Haliburton.

Date: 
May 15th 1926

The Happy Holler Band posed with instruments, from KMBC radio newsletter, no date. Caption reads, "By Jinger, Now Don't That Beat The Band. I thought you was playin' this dern piece over here all the time, well now let's try another one and this time even if we cain't git off togther let's aim to hitch up an whoa t'once.

Group photo of Blue Devils band standing around their instruments at radio station KFJF; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, ca. 1928. Pictured from left: Oran "Lips" Page, trumpet; Henry "Buster" Smith, alto sax; Clair Benton, banjo; Walter Page, bass; Emir "Bucket" Coleman, trombone; Jones L. Grant, trumpet; Ernie Williams, vocals & drums; Bill Owen, alto sax & clarinet; Willie Lewis, piano & arranger. Source: Black Archives of Mid-America.

Chauncey Down's band with Woody Walder (sax) and Ernie Williams at Chauncey Down's Hall (known later as the Casa Loma Ballroom) in the Downs Building at the southeast corner of 18th Street and Prospect Avenue, ca. 1940. Source: Corrine Walder.

Circa 1937 photograph of Count Basie (piano) and Herman Walder (saxophone) at Street's Blue Room, part of the Street Hotel at the northeast corner of The Paseo and 18th Street. Source: Herman Walder.

Band at Chauncey Down's Hall includes Herman Walder, Booker Washington, Walter Page, no date. Chauncey Down's Hall (known later as the Casa Loma Ballroom) was located in the Downs Building at the southeast corner of 18th Street and Prospect Avenue, ca. 1940. Source: Herman Walder.

Herman Walder and Joe Jammer at the Paseo Tap Room at 1416 East 12th Street, Kansas City, Missouri, no date. Source: Herman Walder.

Jam session at St. Mary's Church at the northwest corner of Ann Avenue and North 5th Street, Kansas City, Kansas, no date. Source: John Randazzo.

WPA orchestra rehearsing at Union Hall, William Shaw, director, June 29, 1936. This photograph was taken at the Mutual Musician's Union Local #627 building at 1823 Highland Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri.

Date: 
June 29th 1936

Group photo of Bennie Moten's Victor Recording Artists taken at Fairyland Park by Cresswell's Photo Studio, Kansas City, Missouri; band is seated with instruments, ca. 1930. Source: Herman Walder.

Date: 
1930

Bennie Moten's Orchestra, with instruments on bandstand, likely to be Paseo Hall, 15th Street and Paseo Boulevard, Kansas City, Missouri, c. 1925. Pictured from left: Willie McWashington, drums; LaForest Dent, banjo; Vernon Page, brass bass; Thamon Hayes, trombone; Lamar Wright, cornet; Bennie Moten, piano; Harlan Leonard, alto saxophone; Woody Walder, tenor saxophone. Source: Charles Goodwin.

Date: 
1924

Bennie Moten's Orchestra, with instruments, taken by Bert Photo Studio, ca. 1926. Pictured from left: Thamon Hayes, trombone, Lamar Wright, cornet; Willie McWashington, drums; Leroy "Buster" Berry, banjo; Bennie Moten, piano; Harlan Leonard, reeds; Vernon Page, brass bass; Woody Walder, reeds; LaForest Dent, reeds. Source: Charles Goodwin.

Date: 
1926

Bennie Moten's Orchestra, posed with instruments, ca. 1926. Source: Duncan Scheidt.

Date: 
1926

Bennie Moten's Radio Orchestra, posed with instruments, ca. 1923. Pictured are Willie Hall (drums), LaMar Wright (trumpet), Bennie Moten (piano), Thamon Hayes (trombone), Woodie Walder (clarinet). Source: Duncan Scheidt.

Date: 
1923

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KANSAS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY | DIGITAL HISTORY
Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict,1855-1865.
The Pendergast Years, Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression.
KC History, Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Kansas City Public Library.