Early Jazz Music (Backlash and Opposition): Topics in Chronicling America
Along with its rise in the early 1900s, Jazz music faced backlash and opposition. This guide provides access to material related to "Early Jazz Music" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
Critics call jazz immoral…ugly…ridiculous as it rockets to popularity in the early 1920s. Did the “Devil’s music” really lead to the downfall of society? Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
Dixieland Jazz gets its start in New Orleans.
Original Dixieland Jazz Band makes first jazz recording.
Dance masters declare all-out war on jazz evil.
September 3, 1919
Dancing public has gone “jazz mad” and “the jazz craze must go,” says Chattanooga dance instructor.
March 13, 1921
Imps invent jazz to torment imbeciles, says Dr. Van Dyke.
January 25, 1922
Jazz dancing creates an army of imbeciles, says North Dakota cleric.
June 8, 1922
French thinkers describe jazz as “ugly, ridiculous, and indecent,” but also admit that the public “can’t find anything too jazzy.”