Note: Alphonse Picou discusses the origin of his "Coon Blues." Picou worked with a woman at a nightclub on Villere and Iberville in Storyville who was married to a railroad track-layer. She invited him to her home to hear her husband sing a blues – this, Picou says, was the first blues. He took the melody and wrote the "Coon Blues," which "made a big hit."
About the session: Interviews with clarinetist Alphonse Picou and Paul Dominguez, Jr.; with several fragments of "La Misere" sung by Picou's brother Ulysseus. Clarinetist Picou (1878-1961) is best remembered for his solo in “High Society”, a song widely held to be pivotal in the evolution of early jazz. He played in Freddie Keppard's Olympia Orchestra, the Excelsior, Columbia, and Tuxedo brass bands, and his own Independence Band. Dominguez (c. 1888-c. 1978) was a Creole violinist and guitarist who played in many Storyville cabarets and with Louis Armstrong in 1923 at Anderson’s on Rampart Street. A one-time concert musician, he considered himself and his father, bass player Paul Dominguez, Sr., to be "real musicians [who] were all educated in music and knew [their] instruments” — as opposed to the "rough element” of black Uptown that played by ear and did not read music."
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