The January issue of Smithsonian Magazine had a short article about the first jazz recording. Click here to read the article online. The article features a recording of “Livery Stable Blues” by the Original Dixieland ‘Jass” Band.

By the time of this recording, jazz was already familiar in places like New Orleans, and during WWI, it would get a big boost in Europe thanks to the 369th Infantry “Harlem Hellfighters” band, led by James Reese Europe.  We suspect there will be reason to talk more of Europe and his band later.


Blair Tarr is the Museum Curator of the Kansas State Historical Society. He oversees the three-dimensional collections of the Society, but has special interests in the Civil War, Wichita-made Valentine diners, and Leavenworth's Abernathy Furniture. In the last few years he has also done a lot of cramming on The Great War. He is a past president of the Kansas Museums Association and the Civil War Round Tables of both Kansas City and Eastern Kansas. He is currently a board member of the Heritage League of Greater Kansas City.