33 - Jimmy Blythe’s “Chicago Stomp:”  The First “Completely Boogie Woogie” Recording

by John Tennison — History of Boogie Woogie

Unlike other early recordings of Boogie Woogie, Blythe’s “Chicago Stomp” is significant in that, after its short introduction, it maintains a Boogie Woogie feel and pulse to the end with no intermittant use of the 2/4 oom-pah pulse heard throughout most Ragtime music.  Interestingly, unlike many other Ragtime pieces (such as Eubie Blake’s “Charleston Rag”), Jimmy Blythe’s piano teacher, Clarence M. Jones played his “Daddy Blues” and his “Doggone Blues” with a distinctive swing pulse that could have influenced Blythe to impart more of a swing to Blythe’s own music.  Blythe recorded “Chicago Stomp” in April of 1924 in Chicago, Illinois, on the Paramount Label, #12207.  Blythe’s “Chicago Stomp” can be regarded as an important contribution to the maturation of Boogie Woogie that occurred in Chicago well before Meade Lux Lews or Pine Top Smith made their recordings, and well before Boogie Woogie became publicly associated with Lewis, Smith, Ammons, Johnson, and Yancey.

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© 2004-2009 John Tennison — All Rights Reserved

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