Caption: Ted Lewis & his ubiquitous silk hat
Ted Lewis & his ubiquitous silk hat 

The Tragedian of Jazz

From: Guy Rathbun
Series: the Club McKenzie: Your 1920s Jazz Speakeasy
Length: 59:01

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He has one foot in vaudeville and one foot in jazz, and he was a show unto himself. Ted Lewis was the only popular bandleader who could show up without his orchestra, and still pack the house. Read the full description.

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While Theodore Leopold Friedman was still a teenager, he began performing in various vaudeville bands. He acquired his new name, Ted Lewis, when he teamed up with comedian Eddie Lewis, and was billed as "Lewis & Lewis."
But, in 1919 he made is first recording. His reputation soare

Also in the the Club McKenzie: Your 1920s Jazz Speakeasy series

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The Blackbirds of 1928 (58:58)
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The review, Lew Leslie’s Blackbirds of 1928, opened at the Liberty Theatre on 42nd Street in May of that year.
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Morris Code (58:59)
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Cornetist Thomas Morris is somewhat of an obscure artist from the 1920s, although he was certainly very active recording with Clarence Williams, Sidney Bechet and Bubber ...
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The Brunies Brothers (58:58)
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Half a dozen brothers and sisters, mother, father, and a cousin made up the core of the Brunies family. They were all good musicians. Many of them went on to successful ...
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The First Lady of Radio (59:00)
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She was known as “The First Lady of Radio.” Vaughn De Leath’s recording career began in 1921, which lead to hundreds of titles over the next decade, and she was accompanied ...
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Wild Oats (58:56)
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If jazz can be tied to any season, metaphorically speaking, it would be spring.
Caption: Fats Waller

Connie's Hot Chocolates (58:58)
From: Guy Rathbun

Connie’s Hot Chocolates opened at the Hudson Theater, 44th Street east of Broadway, on June 20, 1929. It was a slice of Harlem nightlife.
Caption: Eddie Condon

Eddie's Scrapbook (58:59)
From: Guy Rathbun

Eddie Condon is one of the liked musicians during the early years of jazz. A Chicago style guitarist, is probably best remembered for his wit, humor and generosity.
Caption: Jelly Roll Morton

Ferdinand's Catalogue (58:59)
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Fredinand Joseph LaMothe Morton was there when it all began. Although it may be a dubious title to say he created jazz, it is true that he was one of the major influences. ...
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Rarities (58:57)
From: Guy Rathbun

Here is a sampling of some of the bands of the 1920s; most didn’t make it beyond their geographical boarders. By no means does that lesson their talents.
Caption: Reinhardt & Grappelli

Hot Club: Reinhardt & Grappelli (58:59)
From: Guy Rathbun

You could not find two more opposite musicians forming a partnership: Stephane Grappelli and Django Rienhardt. In the early ‘30s they created the hottest jazz combo in ...

Piece Description

While Theodore Leopold Friedman was still a teenager, he began performing in various vaudeville bands. He acquired his new name, Ted Lewis, when he teamed up with comedian Eddie Lewis, and was billed as "Lewis & Lewis."
But, in 1919 he made is first recording. His reputation soare

Broadcast History

KCBX Public Radio

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Milenberg Joys Ted Lewis & his Band LP 1925 02:46
Beale Street Blues Ted Lewis & his Band LP 1927 02:59
Memphis Street Blues Ted Lewis & his Band LP 1927 03:16
A Jazz Holiday Ted Lewis & his Band LP 1928 02:55
Glad Rag Doll Ted Lewis & his Band LP 1928 02:53
Tin Roof Blues Ted Lewis & his Band LP 1925 03:09
Where'd You Get Those Eyes? Ted Lewis & his Band LP 1926 02:47
Jungle Blues Ted Lewis & his Band LP 1928 02:46
Camel Walk Ted Lewis & his Band LP 1925 02:37
Some of These Days Ted Lewis & his Band LP 1926 02:50
She's Funny That Way Ted Lewis & his Band LP 1928 03:15
My Mama's in Town Ted Lewis & his Band LP 1926 02:57
Me and My Shadow Whispering Jack Smith LP 1926 03:12
That Certain Party Ted Lewis & his Band LP 1925 02:51
New St. Louis Blues Ted Lewis & his Band LP 1926 02:54
Hello! Montreal Ted Lewis & his Band LP 1928 02:41
Goodnight (excerpt) Ted Lewis & his Band LP 1927 01:13