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If this is your first visit, welcome to my blog of memories and observations. If you wish to be notified of new posts, enter an e-mail address above, and click on "Submit." As we move through a seventh year of this venture, I thank all who have made regular visits, as well as fellow bloggers who have found Stomp Off worth linking to. Doing this sort of thing is time-consuming, but I try to post fresh material at least once a week—let me know what you think. There is a Commentary option at the end of each post and a Guest Book can be reached by scrolling down and clicking on the quill image. I welcome your observations, reaction and/or suggestions in either spot—or both. As for blog content, the most current posts are on the home page, starting at the top. Earlier items are listed by month, year and title in the archive index. To zero in on a particular key word or subject, use the search option that is located directly beneath the blog's masthead. Most images can be enlarged with a mouse click, and there are links to some of my favorite blogs, etc. Since visitors have come from 150 countries, a translator with numerous languages is located below. You can at any time revert to English with a click at the top left of this page:

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4/6/13

A Chocolate Kiddie returns...


In 1925, Sam Wooding's orchestra—as part of the Chocolate Kiddies variety show—became the first big band to perform in Copenhagen. To many Danes, this was their introduction to jazz, and the press was intrigued, especially the music critics, who normally covered more conventional concert fare. By 1931, members of The Chocolate Kiddies troupe had long since gone their separate ways, with several moving on to individual success. Sam spent a few years touring internationally with his orchestra, its personnel now slightly different but no less spirited or accomplished. When the band and singer Edith Wilson arrived at Copenhagen's main railroad terminal, the local press was there to welcome them, as were a few hundred Danish fans. 

The Danish press no longer saw a black jazz band as a novelty, but their fascination with Sam had not abated, and he was having his fun with them—he knew what to say and was never at a loss for words. When I translated the following article for him forty years later, he chuckled and said that members of the Hottentots group were, hopefully, not around to read his not-so-kind assessment of them. To enlarge the text, please click on the image.


5 comments:

  1. So by the time Louis Armstrong was filmed performing in 1933, Danish audiences were well aware of jazz. Chris, this kind of thing is eye-opening. Thank you.

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    1. It's good to see that you are still dropping by, Michael. I have been far too negligent, partly because some tapes I want to post—interviews and music—have, through a series of ridiculous mistakes, ended up in a Copenhagen storage room of the Royal Danish library. I am hard at work trying to retrieve them!

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  2. Dear Chris, it's good to see you in this blogg. I'm still playing Rubys memories...how can i reach you? Please send an email with a working phone number. The best!

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    1. Thank you, anonymous, but I have no way of getting back to you since I neither know who you are or what you contact info is. To get in touch with me, you can either leave information in my Guest Book—it's a part of the blog (scroll down to just above the "Followers", or use this direct link.

      http://users3.smartgb.com/g/g.php?a=s&i=g36-04567-da

      You will have to leave an e-mail address, but it won't be posted publicly. I will then get back to you.

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  3. Dear Chris,

    Thank you for this fascinating post on Wooding. Believe it or not, I'm currently working on an article on the Chocolate Kiddies' reception in the Soviet press after their 1926, and what I've found are some fascinating (and as it seemed to me, far-fetched) stories. For instance, one of the members claims to have been exiled from America for performing the International to Trotsky in a Harlem club in 1915, two years before Trotsky would have been there. I wasn't sure if this was a tall tale on the band member's part or a distortion of the journalist. Your find leads me to believe that the Chocolate Kiddies had their fun with foreign reporters.

    Do you happen to have the bibliographic information on the Danish newspaper?

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