Recordially, Lou Curtiss
  • Some Thoughts on Jazz Roots

    I want to apologize to you all who listen to my radio show regularly. The station (KSDS 88.3FM) has been running repeats since late October, citing logistical problems as the reason. We were supposed to go live at the first of the year but I’ve heard nothing from the station in spite of the fact […]

  • Lou’s Annual List of 101 Songs

    Well, here’s a list of songs I’ve run into this past year. 1.    Lane Campbell: “Layaway Plan” 2.     Rufus Thomas: “The Memphis Train” 3.     Hobart Smith: “Short Life in Trouble” 4.     Dan W. Quinn: “How Could Washington Be a Married Man (and never never tell a lie)” 5.    Asa Martin: “Brickyard Joe” […]

  • All About Roscoe Holcomb

    I first heard about Roscoe Holcomb sometime in the early 1950s when the Sign of the Sun Bookstore in San Diego ran a series of films on traditional music, one of which was John Cohen’s film The High Lonesome Sound all about this Kentucky Mountain farmer who played amazing old time banjo and guitar in […]

  • Things I’m Doing

    My radio show (JAZZ ROOTS, KSDS 88.3 FM, Sunday nights from 8 pm to 10pm) will go into repeat mode for the month of November and probably December. According to the station the reason is logistical problems. I’m certainly willing to continue putting out newly recorded shows and have some jim dandy new old-time stuff […]

  • Race Records: The Birth Of Black Blues and Jazz

    Black History on record started with orchestra and gospel music by groups like the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Jim Europe’s Military band, and vaudevillians like Bert Williams, but black jazz started with Mamie Smith’s Okeh 4169 “Crazy Blues”/“It’s Right Here for You.” Both songs were described on the label as “Popular Blue Song”; the time was […]

  • Remembering Julian Bond and the 1960s

    I don’t often write about my experiences in the South as a Civil Rights worker. It was kind of a scary time and most often I’m glad I did it and even more glad that I got through it with some kind of success and came home to San Diego. However, I read in the […]

  • I Got to See all the Good Bands

    Someone suggested to me that I get one of those t-hirts that reads “I may be old but I got to see all the good bands.” Well that may be so but the problem with that shirt is the electric V shaped Electric Guitar on it. It should be a Mosrite double-necked electric with the […]

  • Jazz Comes to San Diego in 1912

    When New Orleans’ famed Storyville Red Light District was shut down in the early teens (1912, I think), lots of musicians, dancers, singers, actors, and folks in the olde profession found themselves out of work. A lot of them drifted up the river to Vicksburg, Memphis, Kansas City, St. Louis, and ultimately Chicago. However a […]

  • Guy Carawan

    It was Spring 1960 at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island that I first met Guy Carawan. It was a rainy day and there were only 15 or 20 of us that braved the wet to listen to Guy, who us lefties were kind of impressed with because he had visited China with Peggy […]