[Ads-l] Jazz Girls, 1915?

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 27 15:15:19 UTC 2015


A few early examples of jazz, jaz or jass illustrate different senses in which the words were used in the early days in Chicago: pep (similar to the original sense reported in California in 1913), drugs and music - could sex be far behind? (All examples from Chicago or Illinois in 1916.)

Well, it's like this with me (gesture with little finger) - the spring fever's in my bones and I'm minus some pep.  And any old time you think I don't know what to do, your wrong! You'll find me over t'the Haven getting some of the ol' jaz back 'round a game of rotation.
The Daily Illini (Champaingn, Illinois), March 7, 1916, page 5.

In the past twenty-nine days we have made thirty-six arrests.  More than 75 percent of the drug users are burglars, pickpockets, criminals of every sort, panders or prostitutes.  Criminals have a much easier time procuring their "jaz," their "junk," "mud," "snow," or their "hop," than an honest person would.
Chicago Examiner, March 28, 1916, page 9.



On a floor so crowded that couples can’t move around
hundreds just stand in a spot and shake themselves up and down to the sensuous
rhythm of a jaz band.  Drinking and
carousing go on, although the place never had a license to sell booze.  The policemen have stood by and watched the
rough-house; they didn’t question it.

Dozens of couples, often of mixed race, leave the dance hall
for nearby “come and go” hotels which have never been bothered since the morals
commission became unpopular with the City Hall forces.

The Day Book (Chicago), October 7, 1916, page 2.

Saw drinks, music and obscene dancing.  First jass band in Chicago at Schiller.
The Day Book (Chicago), October 18, 1916, page 4.

If anyone's interested, have two blog posts with some early jazz-related examples:
http://esnpc.blogspot.com/2014/10/ben-hendersons-trouble-with-curve-jazz.html
http://esnpc.blogspot.com/2014/09/is-jasbo-jazz-or-just-hokum-and-gravy.html
Peter Reitan

> Date: Mon, 26 Oct 2015 10:19:13 -0400
> From: bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
> Subject: Re: Jazz Girls, 1915?
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> 
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Jazz Girls, 1915?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> On Mon, Oct 26, 2015 at 9:53 AM, Christopher Philippo wrote:
> >
> > The date of its production is disputed, some theorizing it was made in
> > the 1920s.  Just to throw in another wrinkle: regardless of when it was
> > made, I would guess it is at least possible that the title cards are not
> > the original ones.
> 
> Good point -- there's no way of knowing when the title cards were
> added. In Linda Williams' 1989 book _Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and
> the "Frenzy of the Visible"_, she talks about watching a print at the
> Kinsey Institute that had some shots inserted from a later stag film
> ("The Casting Couch," 1924), so it's clearly tricky determining what's
> "original" in a film like this.
> 
> https://books.google.com/books?id=OMa96WrLnhQC&pg=PA61
> 
> Williams says the Kinsey Institute dates the film to 1917-19, which
> would be enough for "Jazz Girls" to make more historical sense without
> even jumping to the '20s. (According to Wikipedia, the estimate of
> c1923 is based on one of the girls' Mary Pickford-style hair.)
> 
> --bgz
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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