The story of the first roughly half century of jazz is really the story of some of the greatest musicians of all time. Scott Joplin, Glenn Miller, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald all made tremendous contributions, influencing countless jazz musicians and singers.
This work provides biographical sketches of the aforementioned artists and many others who made jazz so popular in the first half of the twentieth century. Biographies cover the pioneers of jazz in New Orleans in the late 1890s and early 1900s; the soloists who fueled the Jazz Age in the 1920s; the musicians and bandleaders of the big band and swing era of the late 1920s and early 1930s; and icons from the height of jazz's popularity on through the end of the war. A discography is provided for each artist.