100th anniversary of the very first recorded jazz by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band (ODJB) on Feb. 26, 1917

2017 is the 100 year anniversary of the 1st recorded jazz records on many labels including Victor, Columbia and Aeolian Vocalion Records. Original DixieLand Jazz BandDixieland Jass Band One-Step” also known as “Dixie Jass Band One-Step” and “Original Dixieland One-Step” is a 1917 jazz composition by the Original Dixieland Jass Band released as an instrumental as a Victor 78. The song is a jazz milestone as the first commercially released “jass” or jazz song.

The ODJB released the song as a Victor 78 in 1917 as 18255-A on the Victor Talking Machine Company of Camden, New Jersey. The B side was the landmark jazz song “Livery Stable Blues”. The personnel on the recording were Nick LaRocca, trumpet, Larry Shields, clarinet, Eddie Edwards, trombone, Henry Ragas, piano, and Tony Sbarbaro, drums. The ODJB initially auditioned for Columbia Records. A month after the audition, the band began recording for Victor. They made recordings on February 26, 1917. The first jazz record released was Victor 18255, which featured “Dixieland Jass Band One-Step” as the A side, “Composed and played by Original Dixieland ‘Jass’ Band”, backed by “Livery Stable Blues”. The “one-step” designation on one label was changed to “fox trot” on another label. The phrase “For Dancing” appeared to the right of the spindle hole on both sides of the disc. Following lawsuits, Victor changed the label of both sides of the release. The inclusion in “Dixieland Jass Band One-Step” of a strain from Joe Jordan’s 1909 “That Teasin’ Rag” resulted in a suit for copyright infringement. The earliest copies of the first ODJB disc do not cite Jordan’s rag but later copies noted “Introducing ‘That Teasin’ Rag'”. The title on side A of the disc was changed to “Dixie Jass Band One-Step.” Posters promoting the band’s live concerts in 1921 added that Victor 18255 featured the song “Ramblin’ Blues”–“Dixie Jass Band One-Step”. For the second pressing of side B, “Livery Stable Blues Composed and played by the Original Dixieland Jass Band” omitted the phrase “Composed and played by”. Max Hart, the manager of the ODJB, made an agreement with J. W. Stern in 1917 for the publication rights to “Dixieland Jass Band One- Step.” Nick LaRocca wrote to Eddie Edwards on November 8, 1929: “Ed, I want you to look up Max Hart and see if he will sign the Dixieland one step to one of us so we can get behind the publisher to settle up with us, on royalty due band. Suppose you go and see J. W. Stern or his successor and get the dope on same. Do not let him know what your motives are. I have in my possession the contract but that is made between Max Hart and J. W. Stern. Also, ask Mr. Hart for statements, if any, from Victor Co. This number promises to be a big hit but no one seems able to get orchestrations on same.” In 1936, the reformed ODJB recorded a new version of the song as “Original Dixieland One-Step” on October 9 in New York and released it as a 78 single on Victor as 25502 backed with “Barnyard Blues”, itself a version of “Livery Stable Blues”. source

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