[Ads-l] antedating "spasm band"

Bill Mullins amcombill at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Apr 20 16:48:39 UTC 2022

OED has 1926 for "spasm band", a type of jazz band that played on the streets of New Orleans, and important in the development of jazz and blues.

1894 New Orleans _Times-Picayune_ Jan 28 9/7
The famous Spasm Band of the Y.M.G.C contributed to the general jollification.

OED has 1943 for "spasm music"

1919 Bangor ME Daily News Feb. 15 11/3
One by one other newsboys with an ear for exotic rhythms and barbaric chords joined him until he had a band of five motley musicians which he christened "Stale Bread's Spasm Band" to the delight of New Orleans, whose inhabitants still consider "spasm music" a more pictorial and satisfying term than "jazz music."

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

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