"jazz" (the term)--helpful e-mails from Deborah Gillaspie

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Tue Jan 13 17:55:39 UTC 2004

I have received a few very helpful e-mails from Deborah Gillaspie,
Curator, Chicago, Jazz Archive, University of Chicago
Library---(www.lib.uchicago.edu/h/chicagojazzarchive) and with her
permission will now share them (+ my messages to her) with ads-l; the
messages appear in reverse chronological order below my signoff.

   I'll try contacting Sandor Demlinger in the next day or two.
Meanwhile, my thanks to jazz researcher Lewis Porter for directing me
to Ms. Gillaspie.  And, as usual, Barry Popik played a role (leading
to my contact with Lewis Porter).

Gerald Cohen


>At 11:05 AM -0600 1/13/04, Deborah L. Gillaspie wrote:
>Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 11:05:34 -0600
>To: "Cohen, Gerald Leonard" <gcohen at umr.edu>
>From: "Deborah L. Gillaspie" <debjazz at uchicago.edu>
>Sure, feel free to post my reply if you think it will help other
>scholars. Now that I know you're interested, I'll let you know as I
>come across things. I have done quite a bit of digging in the
>Defender in the course of putting up the CJA website, and I never
>know what will turn up as I
>dig in the microfilms.
>There's a nice bit of discussion about the etymology of "jazz" in
>Andrew Clark, ed.,
>Riffs & Choruses: A new jazz anthology NY: Continuum, 2001. See pp. 13-54.
>At 10:37 AM 1/13/2004, you wrote:
>>Thank you very much for your reply below. I'll contact S.
>>Demlinger. Might I also have your permission to share your message
>>below with the American Dialect Society Internet discussion group
>>(some 450 members, including scholars, editors of the major
>>dictionaries, independent word buffs, etc.)? We've been discussing
>>the origin of the term "jazz" for several years now, and I know
>>that your message will generate interest. I'd be happy to keep you
>>posted on any feedback your message would generate.
>>    I hope you're feeling better.  This has been a bad season for the flu.
>>All good wishes,
>>    -----Original Message-----
>>From: Deborah L. Gillaspie [mailto:debjazz at uchicago.edu]
>>Sent: Tue 1/13/2004 9:43 AM
>>To: Cohen, Gerald Leonard
>>Subject: Re: Request for information about a newspaper article in
>>book _Destination Chicago Jazz_
>>Hi Gerald,
>>Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I was crashed out with the 'flu.
>>The article is probably from the Chicago Defender, but I have no
>>idea what the cite is. There's no easy way to check, since the
>>Defender isn't indexed. Since Sandy D. was working from John
>>Steiner's notes, I think you'll want to contact him; his email is
>>SDemlinger at aol.com  Tell him I sent you. <smile>
>>If you're working on "jazz," I assume you know about Robert Gold's
>>Jazz Talk?  Also, there
>>is a reference in the Chicago Defender to Estelle Harris and her
>>"jass" singers and dancers appearing here in 1916
>>[http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/su/cja/estelle.gif]; the date is
>>Sept. 13, 1916.
>>Here at the UofC library we have a set of books complied by a
>>German gentleman, Franz Hoffmann, who pulled together the jazz ads
>>from the Chicago Defender and other black papers, 1910-1967. It has
>>an index to what he found, and is very useful for the sort of
>>research you are doing. Here the set is building use only (no ILL),
>>the call number in our catalog is ML3508.J374. The volumes are
>>available for purchase from Norbert Ruecker,
>>I hope this information is of some help! Please give Lewis Porter
>>my regards when you speak to him.
>>Best wishes,
>>Deborah Gillaspie
>>At 09:30 PM 1/10/2004, you wrote:
>>   I am a linguist with a research specialty in etymology and for
>>several years have been working on the term "jazz." Recently I have
>>started corresponding with Lewis Porter, and it is at his
>>suggestion that I now write to you with a request for information.
>>     In a recent visit to a Chicago bookstore I noticed the following:
>>_Destination Chicago Jazz_ by Sandor Demlinger and John Steiner
>>(Chicago: Arcadia), 2003.
>>    Opposite the title page is a reprinted brief newspaper article
>>with no date or other bibliographic reference:
>>   "Rivalry between the Louisville 'jug' band and the New Orleans
>>'jazz' band at the Casino Cabaret, Clark and Kinzie streets, led to a
>>demand by Walter Vaughn, champion jug blower of the world, for the
>>arrest of the jazz band cornet player...Both rivals are colored."
>>    My request is: Would you know the bibliographic reference for
>>the above-quoted newspaper article? Professor Porter tells me that
>>John Steiner passed away a few years ago. Would Sandor Demlinger
>>perhaps have the reference?
>>    Any assistance would be very gratefully received. I'd be happy
>>to reciprocate with a copy of the research I've done on the origin
>>of the term "jazz" (used in baseball columns before being
>>transferred to music), and if there's a charge for your time in
>>checking the information, I will very cheerfully pay it.

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