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.


404 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Willie "the Lion" Smith
He was a master ”Tickler”. Stride piano is the term attached later to a specific rhythmic style where the left hand follows the pattern of the rig...

  • Added: Sep 07, 2012
  • Length: 58:54
Caption: Sterling Clarinet, Credit: http://www.clarinetpages.net
Among the many names adopted for the clarinet during the early years of jazz, the “noodle” is possible the most catchy. Feature are Johnny Dodds, B...

Bought by WDCB


  • Added: Aug 28, 2012
  • Length: 58:54
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: 1920s dancers
Remember Dick Powell the actor? How about Dick Powell the jazz banjo player? He’s just one of many obscure early jazz performers heard in this pro...

  • Added: Aug 21, 2012
  • Length: 58:55
Caption: Bix Beiderbecke & Frankie Trumbauer
The dynamic duo work of cornet Bix Beiderbecke and saxophonist Frankie Trumbauer was one of the greatest in early jazz. Their first recording dates...

  • Added: Aug 15, 2012
  • Length: 58:53
Caption: Coleman Hawkins
The duet of Henry "Red" Allen and Coleman "The Bean" Hawkins, 1933.

  • Added: Aug 10, 2012
  • Length: 58:52
Caption: Bessie Smith
The blues melded with jazz long before the first recordings in the late teens. Although the music was, at least at first, structured on the 8 and 1...

  • Added: Jul 31, 2012
  • Length: 58:54
Caption: Clarence Williams
Shining shoes to music publishing in a few short years. To Clarence Williams it may have seen much longer. By 1910, he was considered a leading s...

  • Added: Jul 26, 2012
  • Length: 58:57
Piece image
Give a listen to some of those very hot bands of the 1920s. You may not recognize many of the names, but that doesn't lessen their impact.

  • Added: Jul 17, 2012
  • Length: 58:58
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