Monthly Archives: May 2011

Today in KC’s Music History: Joe Turner Born

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Big Joe Turner

Happy Birthday to KC legend Big Joe Turner, who was born 100 years ago today.

Born in Kansas City, Turner started singing on the streets and in church. In his early teens, he began singing in clubs and became known as the Singing Barman. Continue reading


National Jukebox Features Early KC Jazz Recordings

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The Coon-Sanders Original Nighthawk Orchestra.

The National Jukebox from the Library of Congress is a treasure. This site features our most historic and priceless recordings, for free. You can’t download, but you can stream to your heart’s content.

Of interest to Kansas City music fans are a series of recordings made by the Coon-Sanders Original Nighthawk Orchestra, the first KC act to be recorded. Continue reading

Today in KC’s Music History: “Flora the Red Menace” Opens on Broadway

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Although it’s mostly forgotten today, the debut of Flora the Red Menace on May 11, 1965, marked the debut of one of Broadway’s most enduring composing teams.

This show was the first musical between composer Kansas Citian John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb, who subsequently wrote such shows as Cabaret, Chicago, Woman of the Year and Kiss of the Spider Woman.

John Kander (at piano) and lyricist Fred Ebb.

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