the Club McKenzie: Your 1920s Jazz Speakeasy

Series produced by Guy Rathbun

Caption: Joe "King" Oliver
Joe "King" Oliver 

A weekly program of Music and Stories for "The Jazz Age."

Across the spectrum of pop and jazz from the late teens to the early 1930s, this weekly series from the Club McKenzie invites you the share in the talents and tales of the musicians and performers that created an unforgettable era.


376 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Muggsy Spanier, Credit: photo by Charles Peterson
The origin of his nickname is disputed. Regardless of the reasons, Francis Joseph Julian Spanier was simply known as Muggsy. Before Bix Beiderbeck...

  • Added: Jul 12, 2012
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Omer Simeon-front row, 3rd from left
Born in New Orleans in 1902, Omer Simeon is the least known of the early clarinetist of the 1920s. He was apparently very quite and reserved, didn...

  • Added: Jul 06, 2012
  • Length: 58:58
Caption: Harold Arlen
Harold Arlen wrote some of the greatest hits jazz and popular music, including the entire score to the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz. But there a...

  • Added: Jun 29, 2012
  • Length: 58:58
Caption: Bandleader Merle Johnston
This is a glimpse at some of those talented bands of the 1920s and ‘30s who only recorded a few sides in their brief careers. There is some buried...

  • Added: Jun 22, 2012
  • Length: 58:54
Caption: Phil Napoleon
They recorded under a variety of other names including Ladd's Black Aces, Jazzbo's Carolina Serenaders, Bailey's Lucky Seven, The Southland Six and...

  • Added: Jun 14, 2012
  • Length: 58:59
Piece image
Here is one of the overlooked jazz pianists who, if he's lived beyond his 30-years, would rank with Early Hines and Count Basie. Very little is kn...

  • Added: Jun 09, 2012
  • Length: 01:01:02
Caption: Apollo Theater, Chicago, 1920s
It’s Windy Hear! But, in the late 1920s and early ‘40s, much of that wind was coming from the great horns of musicians like Ruben Reeves and Louis...

Bought by WDCB


  • Added: Jun 01, 2012
  • Length: 58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Sophie Tucker in 1927
The use of the term Red Hot Mama’s supposedly emerged in the early 1920s. In 1929, songsters Jack Yellen and Milton Ager wrote, I’m the Last of the...

Bought by WNMU-FM


  • Added: May 24, 2012
  • Length: 58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: John Held Jr.
Whenever bandleader Ed Kirkeby wanted his band to record for another label, he’d tag them with another name. Hence: The Golden Gate Orchestra. An...

  • Added: May 18, 2012
  • Length: 58:56
Caption: Eddie Condon
New Orleans, Chicago and New York were the primary hubs for jazz by the mid 1920s. The influences from each location enriched the result. Musicians...

Bought by WDCB


  • Added: May 10, 2012
  • Length: 58:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Jelly Roll Morton
No one questions the fact that Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton was, in all likelihood, the first arranger of jazz. It’s also true that Jelly Roll was...

  • Added: May 04, 2012
  • Length: 58:58
Caption: Frankie Teschmacher
When Kansas City born Frankie Teschmacher joined the Austin High Gang in the mid-1920s, his instrument of choice was alto saxophone. But, in his yo...

  • Added: Apr 26, 2012
  • Length: 58:57
Caption: London of the 1920s
Jazz Historian Albert McCarthy writes in his book, Big Band Jazz (Exeter Books, NY 1974), “When jazz and dance music began to dominate American pop...

  • Added: Apr 20, 2012
  • Length: 58:57
Caption: Harry Warren
In 1922 composer Harry Warren created his first hit, "Rose of the Rio Grande," with lyrics by Edgar Leslie. From that successful launch came a prod...

  • Added: Apr 12, 2012
  • Length: 58:59
Caption: Louis Armstrong
There are three audible stages in the career of Louis Armstrong: The years prior to recording when he performed with Fate Marable, Oscar Celestin a...

  • Added: Apr 06, 2012
  • Length: 59:01
Caption: Adrain Rollini
Adrian Rollini was a renaissance man of jazz. Besides being a multi-instrumentalist, he created new ways of performing on existing instruments, inv...

  • Added: Mar 30, 2012
  • Length: 59:00
Caption: Ted Lewis & his ubiquitous silk hat
He has one foot in vaudeville and one foot in jazz, and he was a show unto himself. Ted Lewis was the only popular bandleader who could show up wit...

  • Added: Mar 22, 2012
  • Length: 59:01
Caption: The Mound City Blue Blowers
This segment on the early years of jazz is devoted to the small group session between 1924 and 1930. Oh, yes, we also drift over to 1945.

  • Added: Mar 14, 2012
  • Length: 58:58
Caption: Coconut Grove nightclub, Credit: soulsafari wordpress
In 1921, the Coconut Grove nightclub was the place to see and be seen. Hollywood stars frequently the club located in a peaceful rural setting sur...

  • Added: Mar 09, 2012
  • Length: 58:57
Caption: Istock Photo
Two legendary figures in early jazz: Johnny Dodds and Tiny Parham. They were at the center of the evolving new music of the 1920s, and contributed ...

  • Added: Mar 03, 2012
  • Length: 59:00