City of Song
City of Song
This chapter illustrates how Dede was unlikely to have made common cause with the poor migrants who were black or mixed race passing through or settled in Bordeaux. By the time he moved to the Folies-Bordelaises, mixed-race people perhaps did not associate him with a spirit of adventure. But whatever prejudice Dede confronted in France paled in comparison to what he would have experienced back in New Orleans. He had steady employment as an orchestra leader throughout the 1860s–1880s, perhaps not in the professional milieu he would have preferred, but he competed against French musicians for jobs and won them. Popular music has always been popular chiefly among the young; growing older, then, cannot have been easy for him, as styles changed and the imperative of keeping up with the public's taste required a young person's energy.
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