On 7 March 1917 the first jazz record ever made was released by Victor Talking Machine Company, which was later acquired by Radio Corporation of America changing its name to “RCA Victor” and, eventually, to simply “RCA”.
The music had been recorded in New York City by The Original Dixieland Jass Band (ODJB) and the release was responsible for starting the jazz craze that swept across the United States.
The Original Dixieland Jass Band was a group of five white musicians who had already played in the “Papa “Jack Laine bands. He was a drummer and saxophonist whose real name was Giorgio Vitale, from Sicily.
The ODJB members were all from New Orleans and two of them were of Italian descent : both Dominick James “Nick” LaRocca, leader and cornetist, and Tony “Spargo” Sbarbaro, drummer; were children of immigrants from the Italian island of Sicily.
The two sides of the 78-rpm disc featured “Livery Stable Blues” and “Dixieland Jass Band One-Step”.
“Livery Stable Blues” is an exuberant number which became a nationwide hit, selling a great number of copies.
The trombone, clarinet and cornet imitated various barnyard animals: the clarinet was made to sound like a rooster the cornet whinnied like a horse and a trombone issued a bovine moo.
It was simple music, full of cheerfulness and subversion, however. what was more important was not the content of the song but the fact that it was the first time that jazz had been commercially recorded.
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