Andy Senior

Andy Senior is the Publisher of The Syncopated Times and on occasion he still gets out a Radiola! podcast for our listening pleasure.
Don Murray

Don Murray

Don Murray was born in Joliet, Illinois, on June 7, 1904, and attended high school in Chicago. In his teens he earned a reputation as

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Memento Mori

Memento Mori

By the time you hold this paper in your hand, I will have achieved the grim distinction of being exactly the same age New Yorker

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Mad for Better or Verse small

Confessions of a Mad Reader

I was reminded of my favorite childhood reading material this past month when I heard that Frank Jacobs, the extraordinary writer of light verse and

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Jimmie Noone by Joe Busam

Jimmie Noone

Jimmie Noone was born April 23, 1895, in Cut Off, Louisiana. Noone started playing clarinet after his family moved to New Orleans in 1910. By

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Felix the Cat Gin 1926

Problem Attic

I’ve been putting off writing this column until the last minute—almost until I am physically unable to write it. (That would be an excellent method

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Jean Goldkette by Joe Busam

Jean Goldkette

Jean Goldkette’s date and place of birth remain a matter of conjecture. According to Wikipedia, he was born March 18, 1893, though May 18 of

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Hudson Lake c1928

A Toast to Bix

I’m going to veer wildly off-format here in order to fulfill a promise I made in this column last month. Last year, a subscriber named

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Lil Hardin Armstrong

Lil Hardin Armstrong

Lillian Hardin was born February 3, 1898, in Memphis, Tennessee. Lillian received piano tutelage first from her third-grade teacher, eventually matriculating at a more formal

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Andy Senior about 1975

We (Theoretically) Get Letters

I was deeply honored this month to receive a message from the legendary jazz writer, editor, archivist, and producer Dan Morgenstern, who offered his kind

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Lew Shaw

Lew Shaw

This month we celebrate one of our own: Lew Shaw, who turns 95 on January 14, and whose latest installment of Jazz Jottings may be

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Jabbo Smith

Jabbo Smith

Jabbo Smith was born Cladys Smith in Pembroke, Georgia, on December 24, 1908. After the death of his father, his mother found it increasingly difficult

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Joe Sullivan Piano

Joe Sullivan

Joe Sullivan was born Joseph Michael O’Sullivan in Chicago on November 4, 1906. The last of nine children, Joe demonstrated serious musical ability at an

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Eddie Lang by Joe Busam

Eddie Lang

Eddie Lang was born Salvatore Massaro in Philadelphia on October 25, 1902. His personal and musical history is inextricably linked with that of Joe Venuti,

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Reflections in the Key of F

Reflections in the Key of F

I realize that most readers turn to this column with the expectation of somewhat light-hearted commentary, so I am reluctant to unpack this month’s stock

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Pony Express Air Mail

Nor Gloom of Night

When I published my first issue of The Syncopated Times, I worked to compensate for the variables and uncertainties involved in getting started. Not the

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Vaughn De Leath

Vaughn De Leath

Vaughn De Leath was born Leonore Vonderlieth in Mount Pulaski, Illinois, on September 26, 1894. At age 12, Leonore relocated to Los Angeles with her

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
intermission

Notes on the Long Intermission

If anything is musically analogous to this historical fermata, it must be the chorus-length note held by Carmen Lombardo on the Royal Canadians’ classic (and

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Abe Lyman

Abe Lyman

Abe Lyman was born Abraham Simon on August 4, 1897, in Chicago, Illinois. He and his brother Mike changed their last name to Lyman because

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Noble Sissle

Noble Sissle

Noble Sissle was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on July 10, 1889. While still a teenager, he toured in vaudeville in the Midwest with a male

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Mad renewal card

Interesting Times, 2.0

Each month, it seems, represents a newer normal. Normal wants to update itself relentlessly, much like my Windows operating system—usually at no small inconvenience and

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Punch Miller

Punch Miller

Ernest “Punch” Miller was born in Raceland, Louisiana, on June 10, 1894. Since his twin sister was named Ernestine Judy, it was natural that he

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Louis Armstrtong stamp

Open letter to Jazz Festivals

For the first 52 issues of this paper, page three has contained a column of my mental regurgitations which many readers, unaccountably, look forward to

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Sidney Bechet

Sidney Bechet

Sidney Joseph Bechet was born in New Orleans on May 14, 1897. Sidney grew up in a middle-class Creole household, and learned several musical instruments

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Wynton at Lionel Hampton Funeral

In Memoriam

In the second month of our siege against an implacable and impersonal enemy, I am a bundle of conflicting and untidy emotions. It really is

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Zez Confrey by Joe Busam

Zez Confrey

Edward Elzear “Zez” Confrey was born in Peru, Illinois, on April 3, 1895. Zez grew up in a musical household in which his older brother,

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Stuck Home Stomp

Stuck Home Stomp

There is no point in attempting my usual meandering approach to the topic that preoccupies all of us at the moment. Just as unnecessary travel

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Irving Kaufman

Irving Kaufman

Irving Kaufman was born on February 8, 1890, in Syracuse, New York. At an early age he entered vaudeville with his brothers Philip and Jack.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
RADIOLA 1920s and 1930s clean radiola365

Words Fail Us

Last December, after wrapping up the layout of my January issue and launching it into the world, I was privileged to revisit what had been

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Sophie Tucker

Sophie Tucker

Sophie Tucker was born Sofya Kalish on January 13, 1886, in what is now Vinnytsia Oblast, Ukraine. She arrived with her family in Boston in

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Kat Edmondson Michael Katsobashvili

I’m Not Worthy! (Am I?)

I was deeply moved—and somewhat embarrassed—to read Larry Melton’s encomium for The Syncopated Times (and its hapless publisher). I do acknowledge that the survival of

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Joe King Oliver

Joseph “King” Oliver

The date and birthplace of Joseph Nathan Oliver are uncertain. The date given by many sources is December 19, 1885. Whenever and wherever he was

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Brunswick Model 102 portable

Portable Joy

Sometimes I forget to breathe. That’s not literally so, but it might as well be. In editing and publishing The Syncopated Times for four years

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Bennie Moten by Joe Busam

Bennie Moten

Benjamin “Bennie” Moten was born on November 13, 1894. Moten grew up in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri’s dance hall district, and developed a

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Woodsman Spare That Dream!

Woodman, Spare That Dream!

I find myself at the end of a long and harrowing layout process (which may be characterized as the maraschino cherry perched atop my annual

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
William Red McKenzie

William “Red” McKenzie

William “Red” McKenzie was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on October 14, 1899, the last of ten children. He rode as a jockey until he

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Joe Venuti violin

Joe Venuti

Giuseppe “Joe” Venuti was born in Philadelphia on September 16, 1903. Joe was classically trained as a violinist from an early age. Salvatore Massaro, friend

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Block Head

None but a Blocked Head

When I was in high school, I began a book report sixty-four times. I finished none of those sixty-four drafts, and I took an F

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Nick Lucas

Nick Lucas

Nick Lucas was born Dominic Nicholas Anthony Lucinese on August 22, 1897, in Newark, New Jersey. When Nick was about nine years old, his older

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Don Redman

Don Redman

Don Redman was born July 29, 1900, in Piedmont, Mineral County, West Virginia. His parents were musical, so it was natural that he would take

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Why Be Legendary?

Why Be Legendary?

Aside from the mere act of dragging myself out of bed and facing a computer screen every day, the most challenging aspect of editing The

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Adrian Rollini cartoon

Adrian Rollini

Adrian Rollini was born in New York on June 28, 1903. Growing up in Larchmont, New York, Adrian proved to be a musical wunderkind; at

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Never Mind the Epaulets

Never Mind the Epaulets

I look back with no special fondness on a publication that used to be ubiquitous in waiting rooms, Highlights for Children. I somehow acquired a

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Irving Berlin Illustration by Artistgaryprice.com

Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin was born Israel Beilin on May 23, 1888, in Tyumen, Siberia. Israel’s family emigrated to the United States when he was five years

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »
Change is Good?

Change is Good?

I admit an aversion—if not an antipathy—to change. Change is at times necessary, at a certain point it is inevitable, but I wince when I

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Read More »

Syncopated Times Radio

New Trad Jazz & Swing releases, interviews, live concerts, and a full roster of radio hosts.

 [Schedule]

Or look at our Subscription Options.