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Backwoods Jazz in the Twenties (Signed)

Meyer, Peg (Raymond F. Meyer); Frank Nickell, editor

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ISBN 10: 0934426198 / ISBN 13: 9780934426190
Published by Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO, 1989
Condition: Fine Soft cover
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About this Item

Softcover in illustrated wraps. 8vo. First printing. SIGNED, with a wonderful drawing, by the author (whose name forms the outlined body of a person playing the saxaphone, which is drawn in)--one of the nicest signatures in a book we've ever seen. Book has a touch of wear to edges but is basically As New. Photo illustrations throughout. Published by the Center for Regional History and Cultural History at Southwest Missouri State University. 158 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 76652

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Backwoods Jazz in the Twenties (Signed)

Publisher: Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO

Publication Date: 1989

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First edition

About this title


In Meredith Wilson's The Music Man Professor Harold Hill and his "Seventy-Six Trombones" made their appearance in River City, Iowa, in the summer of 1912. It was also in the summer of 1912 when nine-year-old Raymond F. Meyer moved with his parents from Oak Ridge to Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Here on the west bank of the Mississippi for seventy-six more years Missouri's "Mr. Music Man" has played, taught, and introduced music to the residents of southeast Missouri adn southern Illinois. In this volume Mr. Meyer recounts his early years as a jazz musician, directing and playing in a jazz band during and immediately after World War I, before Americans knew of Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, or Duke Ellington. From impromptu lunch-time sessions in a Cape Girardeau high school gymnasium, a group of school pals, dubbed the "Agony Four," evolved into the "Agony Five" and the "Melody Kings," playing regular dance dates throughout the region. As the organizer and leader of the first jazz band in the area Meyer significantly contributed to the introduction of a new cultural era in the backwoods of southeast Missouri and southern Illinois. His writings provide insight and understanding of early jazz and the region of southeast Missouri and southern Illinois.

About the Author:

Raymond F. Meyer was born in Oak Ridge, Missouri in 1903. In 1912 his family moved a few miles to the south and east, settling in Cape Girardeau, where he would reside the rest of his life, dying there on December 2, 1995. While a high school student Meyer was fascinated by music, acquired a saxaphone, and organized the first jazz band in the region. For the rest of his life he was involved in music: as a player, teacher, instrument salesman, music store owner, and instrument repairman. He served in the latter role at Shivelbine's Music Store until he was 87 years old.

Always known as "Peg" Meyer established a regional reputation with his band, "The Melody Kings." A number of excellent musicians played in his groups, the most well-known being the famous jazz pianist, Jess Stacy. Earl Center and Phil Hoche were other who would move on to professional careers.

From the nineteen-twenties to the nineteen-fifties he was a musical instrument salesman for the Conn Instrument Company, and started bands in dozens of rural schools throughout southeast Missouri and southern Illinois. Meyer became known as "The Music Man" for the region as he always followed up his sales by offering to teach the youngsters who acquired one of his instruments. He even helped a number of school in the southeast region by serving as their band director until they could fund their own. He believed that he personally taught over 3,000 youngsters to "play horns or beat drums" in his two-state area.

This is his second book. The first was a manual for small instrument repair, a book still occasionally found in repair shops of music stores in the United States and the United Kingdom.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Warwick Books, is an Internet-only bookseller that specializes in hard-to-find books for avid readers and collectors. Many of our books are out of print. Specialties include literature, signed firsts, art and photography, design, illustrated books, cookbooks, field guides, children's books, needlecraft books, and Americana. We recently acquired a large private collection of books on military history. The focus is on World War II as well as aviation history. Warwick Books is a member of IOBA, the Independent Online Booksellers Association.

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