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Louis Armstrong and Paul WhitemanTwo Kings of Jazz$
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Joshua Berrett

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300103847

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300103847.001.0001

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Shared Memory

Shared Memory

(p.148) 5 Shared Memory
Louis Armstrong and Paul Whiteman

Joshua Berrett

Yale University Press

This chapter explores the memory that the cultures surrounding jazz music creates. Though these two kings of jazz, Paul Whiteman and Louis Armstrong, were sovereign in their respective kingdoms, their rule was of a domain with open borders. This domain was composed of various influences, sidemen, and sundry movers and shakers that all came together to be a part of a collective experience—one that transcended religion, race, class, and category, with a shared memory of common personal relationships with one another, and the unifying factor of their appreciation of music. It would be the events of the terror tactics of the Ku Klux Klan, and the allegation by Connie and George Immerman and Tommy Rockwell that Armstrong was guilty of breach of contract, that would spur these two giants to speak of such serious issues in their recordings. This chapter thus explores such a concept of shared memory and what events, people, and prominent figures contributed to that collective experience.

Keywords:   Paul Whiteman, Louis Armstrong, shared memory, collective experience, Ku Klux Klan, George Immerman, Tommy Rockwell

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