Music

James Reese Europe’s Castle House Rag

I am currently reading Reid Badger’s biography of James Reese Europe, A Life in Ragtime, and popped over to YouTube to see if someone uploaded a recording of his band. According to Badger, Europe and his orchestra were the first black musicians to sign a major recording contract in 1913. They recorded three sessions (though …

Continue Reading
Dance Videos

Footage of Vernon and Irene Castle

The Castles filmed the first dance instruction video, “Social and Theatrical Dancing,”  in 1914, and as I browsed YouTube for clips of their creative partner and bandleader, James Reese Europe, I stumbled across clips of them dancing (with the added bonus of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle …

Continue Reading