Daily Archives: January 9, 2010


Amazing picture; amazing autographs.


Often insulting, demeaning pictures — to sell extraordinary music, primarily to the audience being mocked by the pictures.

Records falling from the skies seems a good thing, but not for shellac 78s.

The “Dusky Stevedore” singing down on the levee — material for a sozen popular songs of the period.

Those colored people were very superstitious, you know.

And their home life was sometimes less than orthodox or well-behaved.

This, from the label that brought us Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five and Hot Seven.

Splendidly offensive — nineteenth-century caricature.

At least this advertisement — straightforward and plain — doesn’t thumb its nose at the people expected to buy the product. 

What’s the moral?  Perhaps it is that beauty, given enough time, transcends such condescension and prejudice.


Exhibit One — Ella Rae Riccardi watching Nickelodeon Jr. this morning., notably the episode of Jack’s Big Music Store featuring our friend Kevin Dorn (also J. Walter Hawkes and Dan Levinson), swinging out.  It’s never too early in the day to get hot!

Ella is the much-loved daughter of Ricky (THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF LOUIS ARMSTRONG) and Margaret Riccardi, but their attentive jazz parenting isn’t limited only to those people deep into swing.  Parents and grandparents, take note!