Category Archives: Music

Black L.A. 1947: Herb Jeffries Cast in All-Black Production of ‘Camille’

Sept. 18, 1947: The Sentinel reports the intriguing production of an all-black, musical version of “Camille,” produced by Thomas Hammond with a score by Serge Walter, lyrics by Rene Du Plessis, starring Herb Jeffries.  A previous commitment prevented Lena Horne … Continue reading

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Black L.A. 1947: The Week’s Juke Box Hits

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Sept. 17:1907: L.A. Celebrates Mexican Independence Day

Note: This is an encore post from 2006. Sept. 17, 1907 Los Angeles Mexican Independence Day was celebrated in a grand program sponsored by the Club Porfiro Diaz of Los Angeles at Turner Hall, 325 S. Main (demolished 1951), which … Continue reading

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Sept. 11, 1947: Al Jarvis Replies to L.A. Sentinel’s Charges of Racism

“Boogie-Woogie Blue Plate” is No. 2on this week’s juke box hits. Sept. 11, 1947: KLAC disc jockey Al Jarvis replies to Earl Griffin’s criticisms in last week’s Sentinel. “To knowingly plug a sponsor who discriminates against the Negro race is … Continue reading

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Black L.A. 1947: Some Static for Al Jarvis, Radio’s ‘Great White Father’ of Black Musicians,

Sept. 4, 1947: Earl Griffin gives some hard shots to disc jockey Al Jarvis of KLAC-AM (570, in case you’re Atwater Kent is working). Jarvis was credited with using black artists on his radio show as early as 1933, but … Continue reading

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Aug. 28, 1947: Margaret Harris Debuts in Piano Recital at Age 3

Aug. 28, 1947: At the age of 3, Margaret Rosezarian Harris was splashed across the front page of the Sentinel, which covered her concert of classical pieces at Chicago’s Carey AME Temple. “She was poised and showed no trace of … Continue reading

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Black L.A. 1947: The Kappa Alpha Psis, Clora Bryant and a Certain Attorney

Technical difficulties delayed posting until now. Aug. 28, 1947: Earl Griffin has little good to say about the recent Kappa convention. But he mentions Clora Bryant (a footnote in the Black Dahlia case) though as Clara Bryant. And there’s a … Continue reading

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Black L.A. 1947: Nellie Lutcher Leads Weekly Juke Box Hits

Aug. 21, 1947: Nellie Lutcher’s “He’s a Real Gone Guy” again leads the weekly juke box hits, followed by “I Want to Be Loved” in versions by Savannah Churchill and Lionel Hampton.  No. 3 is “Sure Had a Wonderful Time” … Continue reading

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Black L.A. 1947: A Guide to the Homes of Famous Black Entertainers

Hattie McDaniel’s home at 2203 S. Harvard. Ethel Waters lived almost across the street, the Sentinel said. Via Google Street View.   The home of composer William Grant Still, 3670 Cimarron St., via Google Street View. Aug. 21, 1947: Sentinel … Continue reading

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Black L.A. 1947: Nellie Lutcher’s ‘He’s a Real Gone Guy’ Leads This Week’s Juke Box Hits

Aug. 14, 1947: Nellie Lutcher’s “He’s a Real Gone Guy” is this week’s No. 1 juke box hit, according to Murray’s Record Shop, 1055 E. Vernon. “True Blues” by Roy Milton is No. 2. On the jump, Ask Evangeline helps … Continue reading

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Black L.A. 1947: ‘A Song Is Born’ a New High in Interracial Pictures

Aug. 14, 1947: The Sentinel runs a feature on “A Song Is Born” (working title: “That’s Life”) in production at the Goldwyn studios. If the plot sounds a bit like “Ball of Fire,” also made by the Goldwyn studios, I’m … Continue reading

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Aug. 12-13, 1907: Bucket of Blood Is a Den of Drunken Debauchery

Note: This is an encore post from 2006. Aug. 12-13, 1907 Los Angeles Despite the name Bismarck Cafe, police call the saloon at Main and Winston Streets the Bucket of Blood because it’s a continual source of crime and violence. … Continue reading

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Aug. 1, 1907: Swarm of Bees Terrorizes Downtown Los Angeles

Note: This is an encore post from 2006. Aug. 1, 1907 Los Angeles A mass of bees “wandering in from the country” swirled along Broadway, forcing dainty young women and the toughest police officer to seek cover in a vain … Continue reading

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Black L.A. 1947: Hitting the Nightspots With ‘The Owl’

Eight black athletes are trying out for the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference. July 31, 1947: “The Owl,” the Sentinel’s nightlife columnist, visited the clubs, noting that the high prices of food and rent were taking a … Continue reading

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Black L.A. 1947: The Story of Jimmie Lunceford’s Death

Mike’s Waikiki Inn, 3741 S. Western Ave. 3741 S. Western Ave., via Google Street View. July 24, 1947: The Sentinel publishes an account of the death of bandleader Jimmie Lunceford. According to the article by Wendell Green, at dinner before … Continue reading

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July 21, 1947: Julie London Marries Jack Webb

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project. In the courthouse corridor, just after she received one of the biggest divorce settlements in Los Angeles history, someone asked her: “If you had your choice … Continue reading

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Black L.A. 1947: Bandleader Jimmie Lunceford Collapses in Record Store, Dies at 45

Suzette Johnson appears in “The Foxes of Harrow.” July 17, 1947: The Los Angeles Sentinel has a news story on the death of bandleader Jimmie Lunceford, who collapsed in a record store in Seaside, Ore., and a mention in Earl … Continue reading

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July 17, 1947: Arnold Schoenberg Gets Commission for ‘Survivor From Warsaw’

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project. By mid-July, Arnold Schoenberg was hard at work on a composition he had conceived several months earlier, when choreographer Corinne Chochem sent him details on a … Continue reading

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Can This Be the Fourth of July?

Note: This is an encore post from 2006. July 4, 1907 Los Angeles And how does Los Angeles celebrate Independence Day? With cricket matches and bagpipe contests.

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Black L.A. 1947: Sugar Chile Robinson and a Review of ‘Crossfire’

Sugar Chile Robinson performs at the Lincoln. I should do an entire post on him, but so many stories and only one Larry Harnisch. July 3, 1947: One of the regular complaints in my Twitter feed is about the lack … Continue reading

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