Tulane University Online Exhibits

Browse Items (21 total)

  • Collection: Riverboats and Jazz

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The Jazz Reunion aboard the S. S. President brought together many famous and obscure jazz musicians and provided a chance for players who had never worked together to do so. Some of the musicians pictured here are Luke Schiro (clarinet), Lloyd…

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n 1982 Tulane University's Hogan Jazz Archive produced its first Hot Jazz Classic in collaboration with the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. One of the major events of the Classic was a Jazz Reunion designed to recognize the achievements of jazz…

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In addition to the attractions at the Fairgrounds, night concerts aboard riverboats were intrinsic to the success of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in its first two decades of development. Pictured above is the Lionel Hampton All Star Big…

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In 1958 the New Orleans Jazz Club held its tenth anniversary celebration aboard the S. S. President. The event was telecast on Dave Garroway's "Wide, Wide World" on NBC. During the celebration jazz clarinetist Raymond Burke and his wife Katherine…

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Since the late 1940's, when the regular excursion trade died out, the S. S. President and similar boats such as the S.S. Natchez have continued the tradition of music on the river so often associated with New Orleans. Passenger capacity of 3,100 has…

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Originally named the Cincinnati, this boat was acquired by the Streckfus company in 1933 and came out in July 1934 as the best excursion boat on the rivers. Initially based in St. Louis, the President featured bands co-led by Charlie Creath and Fate…

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The last New Orleans band to offer regular excursion services for the Streckfus Line was led by pianist, singer, and arranger Walter "Fats" Pichon, a musician who studied at the New England Conservatory and worked aboard the S.S. Island Queen with…

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Riverboats were not the only vessels to provide music for excursions out of New Orleans. Lakeboats such as the S. S. Madison offered music by Buddy Petit, Louis Barbarin, Emmanuel Sayles, Sadie Goodson, and others. The S. S. Dixie, however, was…

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After two seasons working for the competition, Desvigne returned to New Orleans to rejoin the Streckfus Line, replacing Fate Marable as band leader on the Capitol. This band remained for about four years, after which Armand J. Piron's band took over.…

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Although it often seemed like it, not all the riverboats on the Mississippi were operated by the Streckfus family. The S. S. Island Queen was run by Captain George F. Schott, a Philadelphian, and was based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Its connection to New…

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Like many New Orleans jazzmen, cornetist Sidney Desvigne learned a lot about music working on the riverboats with Fate Marable (he did some of the solo work on the 1924 recording of "Frankie and Johnny," along with Amos White), but his first job for…

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Pictured above is the Sam Morgan Jazz Band, including (from left to right) Nolan Williams, Isaiah Morgan, Jim Robinson, Sam Morgan, Earl Fouche, Sidney Brown, Andrew Morgan, and Johnny Dave. The Morgan band was another New Orleans group which worked…

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During the 1920's, the importance of work on the riverboats became the pretext for the creation of an African-American local of the American Federation of Musicians in New Orleans. While groups led by Fate Marable, Charlie Creath, and Dewey Jackson…

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Ed Allen was born in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1897 and "took up" trumpet at age nineteen while he was living in St. Louis. Like many of the black "reading" musicians in that town, Allen found work on the Streckfus riverboats, and about 1924 he was…

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In the 1920's, the Capitol became the flagship of the Streckfus musical excursions. Typically, the steamers followed three routes from St. Louis on the seasonal trips to St. Paul, Pittsburgh, and New Orleans. Although these "tramps" consisted…

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The popularity of Marable's New Orleans band may have been the reason for its transfer to a bigger boat in 1920. The Capitol was the largest of the Streckfus riverboats and was brand new when this photograph was taken. The musicians pictured here…

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The bands that played on the Streckfus riverboats provided music for dancing in a wonderfully elaborate setting. Baby Dodds remembered that Marable's band "played strictly for dancing. We played all the standards of the day and we used to make the…

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The Sidney was commissioned in 1911 and remained in the Streckfus fleet under that name until 1924, when it was renamed the Washington. This was the first boat to feature a New Orleans band on the river, and it helped to spread the word about the…

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Without a doubt the most famous riverboat bandleader was Fate Marable (1890-1947). Born in Paducah, Kentucky, Marable was hired as a musician by Captain John Streckfus in 1907 and remained with the company until 1940. His first assignment was as a…

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Pictured here is the riverboat J.S., named after Captain John Streckfus, the man most responsible for developing the connection between dance music and riverboats on the Mississippi. Streckfus began his Acme Packet Company in Rock Island, Illinois,…
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