Sunday, December 8, 2013

The 12 Viewings of Christmas

Here is a diverse and fun viewing list of 12 movies and TV shows to watch during the TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS. The traditional 12 DAYS start on Christmas day and runs to Jan. 5 - Christmas to Epiphany. But, choose your own time frame, and for twelve consecutive nights here is a viewing list.

This never gets old and never fails to charm. Just listening to the music of the great Vince Guaraldi makes it feel like Christmas. It also introduced me to real jazz music ... as opposed to the Herb Alpert and Tijuana Brass LPs my parents listened to.

An unknown film, which should be a holiday tradition. Set in 1944 France, an American Intelligence squad locates a German Platoon in the Ardennes wishing to surrender rather than die in Germany's final war offensive. The two groups of men, isolated from the war at present, put aside their differences and spend Christmas together before the surrender plan turns bad and both sides are forced to fight each other. Sad, but powerful. Based on a equally great novel.

Come on ... it's hokey, but we all love it. The Snowman (Burl Ives) sings one of the greatest Christmas songs of all time "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" in a show based on one of the greatest Christmas songs of all time.

To me, one of the better modern Christmas movies. Funny and sweet. Sure the kid is annoying, but Tim Allen makes up for it.

The great pairing of Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan in a quirky romantic comedy set in Budapest during Christmas season. This was the basis of the Tom Hanks / Meg Ryan remake You've Got Mail, and even though that movie is good, the original is outstanding. If you've never seen it, you've missed one of the great Jimmy Stewart performances.

NOT the Jim Carrey / Ron Howard-directed disaster, but the REAL Grinch narrated by Boris Karloff.

Mulder and Scully go visit a rumored haunted house on Christmas Eve and get more than they bargained for. One of the all-time great episodes of a great TV show. Funny, scary and romantic at the same time.

Tim Burton's ingeniously dark romantic view.

NOT the Whitney Houston remake, but the original 1947 Cary Grant classic. Funny and irreverent while being very mainstream traditional.

This follows the ups-and-downs of several characters' lives in London in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Alternately hilarious, sad, touching, heart-breaking and joyous. Just a great movie, period.

One of the all-time great movies, period. It is a testament to everything Christmas embodies: family, friends and the joy of life.

THE Christmas movie. The story of a young boy's epic quest to get his hands on a Red Ryder BB gun provides the hilarious backdrop for a timeless tale rife with family hijinks, frozen tongues and, of course, sex-oozing leg lamps.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Why Are There No Members of the Jenkins Orphanage Band in the South Carolina Entertainment and Music Hall of Fame?

Why are there no members of the world famous Jenkins Orphanage Band in the South Carolina Entertainment and Music Hall of Fame?  The Hall has such luminaries as Andie McDowell (we still watch “Groundhog Day” despite her being in it), Leeza Gibbons (celebrity-news reader) and Vanna White (the only professional letter-turner in the Hall of Fame.)  The Hall also counts as members Rob Crosby, Bill Trader and Buddy Brock. (Yeah, I know, you’ll probably have to Google them to find out who they are too.)
I am not saying that any of these people don’t deserve to be in the Hall, they probably do. But not to the exclusion of more deserving artists. I would like to nominate several artists currently not in the Hall who influenced and enriched American culture in more deserving ways than interviewing celebrities on “Entertainment Tonight” or being eye candy for a game show.
From the 1890s to the 1940s the Jenkins Orphanage Band traveled across the United States and across Europe performing on street corners, on Broadway and for royalty. Members of the Jenkins Band were instrumental in transforming the music performed during 19th century minstrel shows into blues, ragtime and ultimately, jazz.  My nominees are:

Born - April 9, 1894, Charleston, South Carolina  
Died- September 12, 1926, Paris, France
His father, Rev. Daniel Jenkins operated the Orphan Aid Society (a.k.a. the Jenkins Orphanage) which operated a boy’s brass band as a fundraising tool, as a kind of minstrel show on the sidewalks of towns up and down the East Coast. Called “Jenks” by everyone, he received private piano lessons from a white man in Charleston, Mr. Dorsey, and quickly mastered the piano, clarinet and violin. His father insisted that he work as a music instructor for the Jenkins Band, and also travel with them. Jenks resented having to lead a group of ragamuffin orphans who mugged, strutted and played-the-fool during their street performances. He felt it was beneath. He wanted to play serious music. The kids, of course, made fun of the prim and dandified Jenks.
In 1910 Jenks enrolled in Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia to study music.  Two years later he was forced by his father to leave college in order to accompany the Jenkins Band to London, where it was a featured act at the Anglo-American Expo. When the Expo came to an abrupt close, due to the outbreak of World War I, Jenks convinced his father to pay his tuition to the Royal Academy of London. For seven years Jenks excelled in his studies, winning awards for composition, and becoming a master in several instruments. During his time at the Academy he composed “Charlestonia: A Rhapsody.”
After graduation he moved to Paris where he became one of the most sought after musicians in the most popular Parisian nightclubs. Paris was “jazz mad” in the 1920s and for several years Jenks embraced the glamorous, hedonistic life of Paris. However, in 1925 he began to compose an opera, “Afram” and expanded and orchestrated “Charlestonia: A Rhapsody” which he conducted successfully in Belgium with a full orchestra.  In July 1926, he was admitted to a Parisian hospital for appendicitis. He contracted pneumonia and died on September 12, 1926, cutting short the career of a promising young black composer. He is buried at the Humane Friendly Cemetery in Charleston, SC. 
 Watch/listen here: "Charlestonia: A Rhapsody." (composed by Edmund Thornton Jenkins.

Born – April 19, 1905, Charleston, West Virginia.                                                                
Died – March 24, 1994, Mount Vernon, New York. 
Benford became the Jenkins Orphanage Band’s ace drummer. In 1920 he was playing in New York City and gave drumming lessons to a young wunderkind named Chick Webb. In 1928, he was the drummer for some of the most influential jazz music ever recorded as part of Jelly Roll Morton’s Victor Records sessions.
During the Depression Benford moved to Europe and for the next 30 years recorded hundreds of songs with more than a dozen bands. His most famous recording session was with Coleman Hawkins, Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grapelli and Bennie Carter, released as Coleman Hawkin’s All-Stars.
He continued to play music until his death in 1994, a career that spanned seventy years.

Born - December 25, 1908, Pembroke, Georgia.                                                       
Died, New York City - January 1991.
Raised in the Jenkins Orphanage, he quickly became one of the best Jenkins Band musicians during the years of 1915-1924. Brash and flamboyant, he was a natural performer.  At age 17 he was playing in New York City at Smalls Paradise, the second most popular club in Harlem (most popular was the Cotton Club.) He became the hottest trumpet player in the city, which is like being the hottest guitar player in the hottest rock and roll band (think Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen.)
In 1927 he recorded one track with the Duke Ellington orchestra (“Black and Tan Fantasy”) filling in for the ailing Bubber Miley. Duke offered him a permanent job with the Ellington Orchestra, which Jabbo turned down because Duke only offered $90 a week, and Smith was making $150 with the Paradise Orchestra.
 In 1928-29 Jabbo played with James P. Johnson (composer of the song “Charleston”) and Fats Waller in the Broadway show Keep Shufflin. When the show closed in Chicago Jabbo recorded nineteen historic songs for the Brunswick Record Company that are still considered some of the most influential jazz recordings. They are considered to be the first cool jazz improvisations and be-bop style playing.
By the 1950s Jabbo Smith was out of music, living in Wisconsin. As a swan song, in the 1980s he returned to Broadway in the show One Mo’Time and became the darling of New York for several months. Jabbo is a key link in the development of modern jazz trumpet playing: Louis Armstrong →Jabbo Smith →Roy Eldridge →Dizzy Gillespie→Miles Davis→Wynton Marsalis.

Born – March 31, 1911, Charleston, South Carolina.                             
Died – March 1, 1987, Las Vegas,  Nevada.
Freddie Green had the longest job in jazz history, guitar player for the Count Basie Orchestra from 1937 to his death in 1987 - 50 years. He was in the Basie Orchestra longer than Count Basie himself!
As a child Freddie used to sing and dance on the streets of Charleston and became friends with members of the Jenkins Orphanage Band. Though never an orphan, he played with the Band and remained in New York City during their tour in 1932. Five years later he was discovered playing at the Black Cat Club in Harlem and asked to join the Basie Orchestra, forming what became known as the All-American Rhythm section: Basie-piano, Green-guitar, Walter Page – bass, and Jo Jones-drums.
For the next 50 years Freddie Green became the “left hand” of the Basie Orchestra, the spiritual force that held the music together. Across the world he became known a “Mr. Rhythm,” the greatest rhythm guitar player in jazz history. It is almost impossible to find a photo of the Basie Orchestra that does not include Green.
He became a composer and arranger for the orchestra and the arbitrator of good music. Byron Stripling, trumpet player for Basie said, “If an arranger comes in and his work is jive, Freddie just shakes his head and it’s all over.”
Green died in Las Vegas after a Basie Orchestra performance ending one of the quietest most legendary musical careers of the 20th century. Irving Ashby described Freddie Green’s influence on music as:  “Rhythm guitar is like vanilla extract in cake, you can’t taste it when it’s there, but you know when it’s left out.”

September 12, 1916, Greenville, South Carolina.                            
Died – April 29, 1981, Los Angeles, California.
During the late 1930s, Anderson became the latest in a line of hot trumpet players in the Jenkins Band. He developed a technique of playing in high registers, two octaves above the rest of the band. It was Anderson’s way of showing off, and getting the girls in the audience to notice him. Wynton Marsalis called Anderson “one of the best” scream trumpet players ever.
After leaving the Jenkins Band in 1937, Anderson played for several bands, and performed at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. During World War Two, Anderson played in a Special Services Army Band, performing for troops on bases across the world.  
In 1945, he joined Lionel Hampton’s Band and then was hired by Duke Ellington, and became a featured player for the Duke during the next 20 years. Ellington re-arranged many of his classic songs to take advantage of Anderson’s talent for “scream” trumpet playing. Anderson is heavily featured in one of the most popular jazz recordings ever, the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival.
Through the 50s, 60s and 70s Anderson led several bands himself, and recorded several solo classic LPs with various Ellington sidemen.  

If you agree these men should be in the South Carolina Entertainment Music Hall of Fame, please forward/share/like /comment this article. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

First Memorial Day, Charleston, 1865

A number of towns around the nation claim holding the first Memorial Day, although the distinction generally goes to the town of Waterloo, in upstate New York. Not so fast.

MAY 1, 1865. More than 10,000 people gathered for a parade, to hear speeches and dedicate the graves of Union dead in what is now Hampton Park in Charleston, SC.The group consisted of several thousand black freedmen, northern missionaries and teachers who had arrived in Charleston to teach in freedmen schools post-War.

Hampton Park was originally the Planters Race Course and, during the final months of the Civil War, it was a hellish open-air Confederate prison. A total of 267 Union troops died at the camp, some of whom had been moved from the infamous Andersonville in Georgia before it was liberated. The dead were originally buried in a mass grave by the Confederates, but after the war, members of black churches buried them in individual graves at the site of the camp. An arch over the graveyard entrance identified those buried there as "The Martyrs of the Race Course." The Union dead were later moved to national cemeteries.
Union cemetery, 1865 @ Planters Race Course
The Charleston commemoration was referred to at the time as Decoration Day, as were other early Memorial Day observances.The northern troops went home and the memory remained generally with blacks. Memory of the event was suppressed when white Democrats took back control of the state in 1876 and Southern states held their own Confederate Memorial Days.

Hampton Park, 1902

David Blight, a history professor at Yale, has researched the event. "As the Lost Cause tradition set in — the Confederate version of the meaning and memory of the war — no one in white Charleston or the state was interested in remembering the war through this event. At the end of the day you have to ask does it really matter who is first. But if the issue is what is the first event, Charleston occurred a full year earlier."
Through the years Memorial Day was generally celebrated May 30. Beginning in 1971, the federal holiday was designated as the last Monday in May.
Hampton Park, today

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Excerpt from the forthcoming book, Doin' The Charleston: Black Roots of American Popular Music & the Jenkins Orphanage Legacy by Mark R. Jones

Chapter Ten - America Learns To Dance
“It is good for a man not to touch a woman.”
- 1st Corinthians 7:1.

   During the summer of 1912, eighteen-year old New York City black pianist James P. Johnson daily made the trip to Far Rockaway, a beach resort near Coney Island, for a summer job. He remembered:

It was a rough place, but I got nine dollars and tips, or about eighteen dollars a week over all. That was so much money that I didn't want to go back to school. That fall, instead of going back to school, I went to Jersey City and got a job in a cabaret run by Freddie Doyle.
    James Price Johnson was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1894. His mother taught him to play the upright piano in the family parlor. At age nine he started lessons with Bruto Giannini, a strict musician from Italy, who corrected his fingering but didn’t interfere with his playing rags and stomps. The Johnson family moved to New York City when Jimmy was twelve, and by 1910 he was called the “piano kid” at Barron Wilkin’s Cabaret in Harlem. 

   In 1912 Johnson met Willie “the Lion” Smith, a first-class pianist who became one of his closest friends. Smith was playing in a joint called Randolph’s, in the tough section of Newark known as the Coast. Johnson and Smith very quickly made their way back to New York and began to work the clubs in the “Jungle,” the Tenderloin area of Harlem between 60th and 63rd streets. Johnson attracted the attention of the music industry and by 1916 he was recording piano rolls for the Aeolian Company. There he befriended another up-and-coming, hot shot pianist, a young, white Jewish teenager named George Gershwin. 
   Johnson often played at a Harlem club called The Jungles. In a 1959 interview with Tom Davin, he recalled:

The people who came to The Jungle Casino were mostly from around Charleston, S.C., and other places in the South. Most of them worked for the Ward Line as longshoremen, or on ships that called on southern coastal ports. There were even some Gullahs amongst them. They picked their [dance] partners with care to show off their best steps, and put sets, cotillions and cakewalks that would give them a chance to get off. It was while playing for these Southern dancers that I composed a number of Charlestons, eight of them, all with the same dance rhythm. One of these later became my famous 'Charleston' when it hit Broadway.

   The Great Migration had transformed Harlem, a section of Manhattan about fifty blocks long and seven or eight blocks wide. By 1920 more than 200,000 Negroes had migrated to the community and it was bustling with energy, streets clogged with traffic and new businesses opening on a daily basis. It was new-found prosperity for tens of thousands of blacks.
   With the sudden population boom, property took an immediate upward swing. Many of the whites living in Harlem were panic-stricken by this black invasion. They quickly abandoned their neighborhoods and fled to other places - Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Westchester. Property owners doubled and tripled their rents, but the Negro influx continued. With as many as five to seven thousand people residing in a single block, living conditions were often anything but wholesome and pleasant. It was a typical slum and tenement area little different from many others in New York.
   In many instances, two entire families occupied space intended for only one. Large rooms were converted into two or three small ones by building solid partitions. These cubbyholes were then rented at the same price as full sized rooms. In many houses, dining and living rooms were transformed into bed rooms after midnight, like a hotel.  “Shift-sleeping” was common. During the night a day-worker used the room and soon after dawn a night-worker moved in.
   Even this creative apartment sharing was often not enough to meet the doubled and tripled rents. Another solution developed: a few days before the rent was due, advertise a party and make one’s “guests” pay a cover charge. Thus, the Harlem rent-party was born. The majority of working class Negroes were maids, porters and elevator operators. They were paid on Saturday and not required to report to work on Sunday. Saturday became the logical night to party until dawn. Party-goers would squeeze into a five-room flat until the walls swelled. Card and dice games kept the action in the back rooms hot. But the center of attention was the piano in the front parlor, where a piano “tickler” sat on a stool—hands poised above the keyboard—like a king on his throne.  Very quickly, Johnson and Smith became kings of the “rent parties.”
  Piano ticklers were in great demand for cheap entertainment. The better pianists, like Johnson, Smith and Fats Waller, would move from party to party playing for several hours at each, trying to outplay and out class each other.
   Johnson recalled:

Each tickler kept these attitudes even when he was socializing at parties, or just visiting. It was designed to show a personality that women would admire. With the music he played, the tickler’s manner would put the question in the lady’s mind: 'Can he do it—like he can play it?'

   Willie Smith recalled those days:

A hundred people would crowd into one seven-room flat until the walls bulged. Plenty of food with hot maws (pickled pig bladders) and chitt'lins with vinegar, beer, and gin, and when we played the shouts everybody danced.

   By 1913 the Jenkins’ Orphanage Band from Charleston was a well known quantity in the New York area. The Band’s antics on the streets and the quality of its music had been noticed by musicians and professional theatrical agents. James Johnson and Willie Smith on watched the band perform on occasion. 
   Willie Smith recalled:

They had a kind of circus band that marched up and down the streets of Harlem. They’d play concerts on the street corners and pass the hat. They sometimes had as many as twenty pieces and none of the kids were over fifteen years of age.

   Several more of the black lambs “jumped ship” while in New York. As the kids approached the age of twenty, they were more interested in finding work in the big city than remaining in the Orphanage system. A paying job in a Harlem band was better than traveling the back roads in a cramped bus with twenty other kids.

Dancing the Charleston with the Jenkins Band

   Freddie Green (b. 1911, ukulele, banjo and vocals), played guitar for the Count Basie Orchestra for more than fifty years. He remembers traveling with the Jenkins Band:

We had a bus. It was a homemade bus; a truck that was made into a bus. Listen, I can't describe it.  But it was very uncomfortable.
  We used to have to get up around noon and play all through the streets...a parade, you know. We were in the small towns of Maine. And we had dress uniforms that we wore.
I wanted to go. I wanted experience. I wanted to get on the road.
Freddie Green, LP cover
   Rev. Jenkins signed a contract for one of the bands to perform in a new musical production of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The show’s white producers believed that, in order for a white audience to sit through a show about Negroes, the Negroes had to dance, play music and generally act the fool. So the Jenkins’ Band debuted on Broadway, playing the part of the jiving coons, a long ago perfected during their extensive tours of small towns and cities up and down the eastern seaboard. 

   By 1913 public dancing had become all the rage in New York and the most famous dancers in the world were Vernon and Irene Castle. The Castles became wildly popular among New York Society, charging more than $1000 an hour for dancing lessons. They taught white America a new way of dancing, introducing and popularizing the ragtime-style “fox trot” and the sultry tango. They taught white America to dance from the waist down.
Vernon and Irene Castle
   Up to this time ragtime music and dancing were considered vulgar and crude, only for lower “black” tastes. Classical musician Edward B. Perry described ragtime as “a dog with rabies.” The magazine Musical America stated ,“It exalts noise, rush and street vulgarity. It suggests repulsive dance-halls and restaurants.” Forty years later the same complaints would be leveled at Frank Sinatra, then at Elvis Presley, then The Beatles and finally hip-hop.
    The majority of the early Americans were opposed to dancing. Puritans equated it with promiscuity and sinfulness. They were particularly opposed to “mixt” dancing between men and women that led to temptation and ultimately, adultery. Some hard-liners even spoke out against the time-honored Maypole tradition – young ladies dancing around a pole wrapping flower garlands. It was considered a pagan ritual and therefore, sacrilegious and therefore, evil.
   Baptists preached against the “unchaste handling of male or females. The sin of dancing is that it assaults a person’s sense and caused them to sin by upon what lust has caused.”
   Famous fire and brimstone evangelist Billy Sunday railed against drinking and dancing in the 1920s and 30s because the activities were linked - drinking led to dancing and dancing led to drinking. It was a fast and vicious path to hell. Sunday declared:

You sow the dance and the ballroom and you reap a crop of brothels. You sow saloons and you reap a harvest of drunkards. You must want a lot of prostitutes or you wouldn’t sow dances.

   In an article of the Ladies Home Journal, Anne Shaw Faulkner asked the question: “DOES JAZZ MUSIC PUT THE SIN IN SYNCOPATION?” 
   Vernon Castle was an Englishman who moved to New York in July 1906. He followed in the footsteps of his actress sister, Coralie, who had landed a role in a Broadway musical, About Town. Vernon became a constant presence backstage during rehearsals, entertaining the cast and crew with his magic tricks and comedic banter. The producer, legendary vaudeville showman Lew Fields, was so charmed by Vernon that he gave the young Englishman a small role in the show. One year later Vernon was given a larger role in Fields’ next production The Girl Behind the Counter, which became a huge hit.
   Over the next two years Vernon became a popular comic actor, famous for his graceful and acrobatic pratfalls on stage. As 1910 rolled around Vernon was considered one of the hottest up-and-coming Broadway stars. During that summer, Vernon rented a room in New Rochelle, Connecticut. Many Broadway people summered there. It was only a forty-five minute train ride from New York and offered a quieter and cooler climate than the city. During that summer he met seventeen-year old Irene Foote.
   Irene was a short-haired tomboy with a spirit of rebellion and a love of dancing. By age five she was entertaining at local parties and charity balls. When Irene met Vernon at the New Rochelle Rowing Club she later recalled, “I could tell by looking at him he was not my cup of tea.” However, upon discovering that Vernon was a successful Broadway actor, she became more interested.  “My heart skipped a beat. I turned loose every ounce of charm I could muster to hold his attention.”
Irene Castle
   It must have worked. Vernon managed to get Irene a part in the next Lew Fields’ production and one year later they married. They moved to Paris in 1912 when Vernon was offered an opportunity to produce his own show, and the young couple jumped at the chance. The show, Finally … a Review, was a mixed bag. The first act, a comedic barbershop skit, bombed in front of the French audience. The second act, however, became a sensation - Vernon and Irene dancing wildly to a spirited version of “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.” Irene recalled the dance as being so acrobatic that “I was in the air much more often than I was on the ground.”
   The Castles’ dancing quickly became the rage of Parisian nightlife, and the couple was invited to perform at Café de Paris, the city’s leading elegant club. Suddenly, everyone in Paris society was Castle-mad. These two untrained American dancers were being invited to dance at every club in the city, in private homes and for large lavish balls. Women handed over money to dance with Vernon, and men out-bid each other to take a spin on the floor with Irene. Their dancing technique at the time was “rough and tumble” Irene recalled, more comic and acrobatic than smooth and chic.

Paris nightclub, c. 1915

   Tragedy brought them back home to America. Irene’s father died in May 1912 and they returned to New York. They wasted little time finding employment, landing a job dancing at the Times Square club Café de l’Opera at $300 a week. At midnight, as the spotlight focused on the slim couple at the edge of the bandstand, they sprang up, twirling and swirling across the dance floor. Little did they know that they were introducing white American audiences to a new style of dancing. As untrained dancers, they made it up as they went along. Irene remembered:

All we did was write on paper about what we thought we would do. This custom of writing out our dances first was almost adhered to in later days. The first dances we never even rehearsed … by keeping my eyes firmly fixed on the stud button of his dress shirt I could anticipate every move he was going to make and we made it together, floating around the floor like two people sharing one mind.

   What made the Castles unique was their ability to refine dance steps that were usually considered too objectionable for polite society – ragtime trots and grizzly bears. Their grace and elegance turned low dances into refined entertainment. When the Castles met James Reese Europe at a private society party where his Clef Club Orchestra was playing, they realized they had discovered their perfect band leader – a man who shared their musical sensibilities.

The Clef Club Orchestra, 1912
   Europe’s “Castle Society Orchestra” included members of the all black musicians union, the Clef Club. With Eubie Blake at the piano, and Jim Europe as its conductor, the Orchestra became nationally famous, accompanying the Castles in concert halls and theaters across the world. Jim composed and arranged several popular songs for them, including “The Castle Perfect Trot” and “Castle House Rag.”
   These were not small “Dixieland” style bands, but full symphonic orchestras with intricate arrangements by Jim Europe, similar in style to Sousa’s Marine Band. Europe also added a saxophone to his band, a bold decision. The saxophone had never been considered a serious instrument; for years it had been used mainly as a novelty in musical acts, but Jim’s use of the instrument raised it to the status of a respectable instrument for the first time. Over the next decade the addition of the saxophone to orchestras and combos led to a monumental change in American music.
   The Castles’ hiring Jim Europe was a culturally defining moment, exposing syncopated Negro dance music to an elite sophisticated white audience for the first time. However, the Castles pushed the mainstream door open wider with the invention of the Foxtrot, a slower paced dance that most non-dancers could perform adequately. For the first time Negro low music was mixed with low dancing but handled with such grace by a respectable white couple that it became acceptable for respectable whites.
Lt. James Reese Europe
   This was another fundamental change in American popular music and culture. For the next two years, Jim Europe and the Castles traveled the world mesmerizing, delighting (and shocking) audiences with their music and performances. They ushered in an era of “animal” dances which included the Foxtrot, Horse Trot, Kangaroo Hop, Duck Waddle, Squirrel, Chicken Scratch, Turkey Trot, and the Grizzly Bear. 
    After two years of dancing to Jim Europe’s music the Castles were international celebrities. One night, during the height of their popularity, they had to dance at the New York Hippodrome, accompanied by the music of John Philip Sousa. It was a clash of opposite cultures, like pop music before Elvis Presley. 
   Irene Castle stated:

 He (Sousa) ignored our frantic signals to pick up the tempo and his uniformed arms flailed away with the precise beat of a man conducting a military march, which was exactly what he was doing.

  Which proves the old adage: once you go black you can never go back. 

Excerpt from the forthcoming book, Doin The Charleston: Black Roots of American Popular Music & the Jenkins Orphanage Legacy by Mark R. Jones