Buddy Bolden

In the fifth part of Early Years of Jazz, we learn about the legendary Buddy Bolden, who never recorded. At least one band has worked to reconstruct of the Buddy Bolden sound, which included swinging ‘hot’ music with wicked lyrics.

Bolden’s career was cut short because he developed a form of dementia and was confined to the state insane asylum at Jackson. I drove past Jackson twice today, on the way to and from the state penitentiary at Angola.

This is the raciest section of the documentary, with pictures from Storyville. Have you heard “Make Me a Pallet on the Floor (So Your No-good Man Will Never Know)”? The sixth and final clip of this series is here, and all of these clips are from the first episode of Ken Burns’ PBS series, Jazz. Here is a slightly longer cut on Bolden, that overlaps somewhat with the one we have just seen.

In case you wonder why I went to Angola, it was to attend the spring crafts fair. It reminds me of country fairs in Latin America, and it is a far better venue in which to relax and exchange news than the visiting shed. One of my friends has a booth there, and today his sign said, GOING HOME SALE.


2 thoughts on “Buddy Bolden

  1. Yes. And in case any ‘progressive’ bloggers are in here, I will say that what my incarcerated buddies were jumping up and down in anger about was white ‘progressives,’ Black nationalists, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton. What they say: these people hear about their cases, and want to feel romantic by working on them for a while. They try to paint the prisoners as radical political types. They do not want to ask the system to let them go, they want to bully or guilt the system into it, which never works. Then, having gotten the prisoner in question a bad reputation with the state, they get bored and sail off to the next cause.

    The prisoners keep saying: people need to realize that these are legal matters and in legal matters one must be tenacious, but follow procedure closely and exercise restraint. They also keep saying: they want to get out of jail, not be used as mascots for someone else’s cause. Once they are out, they themselves can decide if they want to symbolize a cause, and choose which cause that is.

    (Sorry if I sound non-radical by pointing this out. I do not think I am being non-radical, I think I am pointing to a basic issue, which is radical. I suspect that what many ‘progressive’ bloggers think is ‘radical,’ these prisoners would call a ‘liberal trip.’)

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