Possible Antedating of "Bebop"

Sun Dec 9 18:49:45 UTC 2012

Further support for the likely existence of a tune called Be-bop is shown by the current earliest quotation in the OED:  1945   Down Beat 1 Aug. 8/2 (title of gramophone record)    Dizzy Gillespie. Salted Peanuts/Be-Bop.

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of George Thompson
Sent: Saturday, December 08, 2012 9:46 PM
Subject: Re: Possible Antedating of "Bebop"

I read somewhere, sometime, the following story:
A reporter from some squares' magazine -- Time, as I recall -- came to a
recording session featuring Dizzy Gillespie.  He was dumbfounded by the
music and asked "what in the world is that?"  Gillespie thought he was
asking for the name of the tune, and said "Be-bop".  The next week there
was a story in the magazine about this weird new music called Be-bop.

I don't vouch for any part of this as history, but it does suggest that
there was a tune called Be-bop.  REcorded by Gillespie? or anyone else,
before the word came to be the name of the style of playing?


On Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 10:23 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu>wrote:

> bebop (OED 1945)
> 1944 _Billboard_ 2 Dec. 26/2 (Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive)
>  Then [Bud] Johnson follows with a swell ride job on _Be-Bop_, tho spoiled
> by excessive drumming in the background.
> NOTE:  Here _bebop_ seems to be the name of a specific song.
> Fred Shapiro
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much since then.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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