In this Book

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South End Shout: Boston’s Forgotten Music Scene in the Jazz Age details the power of music in the city’s African American community, spotlighting the era of ragtime culture in the early 1900s to the rise of big band orchestras in the 1930s. This story is deeply embedded in the larger social condition of Black Bostonians and the account is brought to life by the addition of 20 illustrations of musicians, theaters, dance halls, phonographs, and radios used to enjoy the music.

South End Shout is part of an emerging field of studies that examines jazz culture outside of the major centers of music production. In extensive detail, author Roger R. House covers the activities of jazz musicians, jazz bands, the places they played, the relationships between Black and white musicians, the segregated local branches of the American Federation of Musicians (AFL-CIO), and the economics of Boston’s music industry. Readers will be captivated by the inclusion of vintage local newspaper reports, classified advertisements, and details of hard-to-access oral history accounts by musicians and residents. These precious documentary materials help to understand how jazz culture evolved as a Boston art form and contributed to the national art form between the world wars. 

With this book, House makes an important contribution to American studies and jazz history. Scholars and general readers alike who are interested in jazz and jazz culture, the history of Boston and its Black culture, and 20th century American and urban studies will be enlightened and delighted by this book. 

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page
  2. p. i
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  1. Copyright
  2. p. ii
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  1. Dedication
  2. p. iii
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  1. Image of jazz singer
  2. p. iv
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  1. Epigraph
  2. p. v
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Member Institutions Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Image: The microphone amplified the voices of South End musicians in the dance halls and ballrooms.House-0009
  2. p. xii
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  1. Introduction. Rediscovering a Lost Jazz Scene
  2. pp. 1-11
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  1. Chapter One. Before the Jazz Age
  2. pp. 13-27
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  1. Mechanics Hall hosted the second concert of the James Reese Europe Orchestra in 1919.
  2. p. 28
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  1. Chapter Two. How James Reese Europe Brought Jazz to Boston
  2. pp. 29-45
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  1. Chapter Three. Frederick Douglass Square
  2. pp. 47-71
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  1. Chapter Four. How Frederick Douglass Square Gave Birth to a Jazz Scene
  2. pp. 73-91
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  1. Image: The Little Building, at the intersection of Boylston and Tremont Streets, leased the office of the Charles and Simeon Shribman booking agency.
  2. p. 92
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  1. Chapter Five. The Commerce of Jazz in Boston
  2. pp. 93-115
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  1. Image: Boston Symphony Hall was a symbol of high-brow opposition to the spread of jazz music in the 1920s.
  2. p. 116
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  1. 6. Jazz Takes the Boston Stage
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  1. Chapter Six. Jazz Takes the Boston Stage
  2. pp. 117-131
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  1. 7. Jazz Across Ethnic Lines
  2. pp. 133-151
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  1. Chapter Seven. Jazz Across Ethnic Lines
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  1. Image: The Copley Plaza Hotel featured jazz orchestras for the exclusive ballroom dances of the interwar years.
  2. p. 152
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  1. 8. Dancing with All Their Might
  2. pp. 153-171
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  1. Chapter Eight. Dancing with All Their Might
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  1. 9. The Triumph of the South End Shout
  2. pp. 173-188
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  1. Image: Duke Ellington sits at the grand piano with hand held high for dramatic effect before striking a perfect note.
  2. p. 172
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  1. Chapter Nine. The Triumph of the South End Shout
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  1. Image: The Hi Hat Club was renowned for barbeque dinners and bebop music in the post-war South End.
  2. p. 188
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  1. Coda. Sketches of Postwar Trends in the Jazz Scene
  2. pp. 189-208
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  1. Coda
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 209-228
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  1. Notes
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 229-245
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  1. Bibliography
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