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Jack Carey (1889-1934)

Trombonist Jack Carey was the older brother of Thomas “Pappa Mutt” Carey, the leader of the Crescent City Orchestra, and the author of perhaps the most popular Hot Jazz song of all time, “Tiger Rag” (played here by the Original Dixieland Jass Band).

He adapted the song from a book of French quadrilles that his band played around with, altering the timing, etc. and called it “Tiger Rag”. Jack worked up the 2nd and 3rd strain to show off his clarinetist, George Boyd. The final strain (the “Hold That Tiger” section) was worked up by cornetist Punch Miller and Jack.

First Recording of Tiger Rag by The Original Dixieland Jazz Band
First Recording of Tiger Rag by The Original Dixieland Jazz Band

Jelly Roll Morton would later claim credit for transforming the quadrille, but historians have since proved otherwise. The tune was widely known in New Orleans as “Jack Carey” by the African-American and Creole musicians of the period, and as “Nigger #2” by the White musicians.

Some claim that many of the songs that the Crescent City Orchestra developed were later recorded by the Original Dixieland Jass Band and copyrighted as their own. Punch Miller took over the Crescent City Orchestra in 1919 and replaced Carey on trombone. Jack continued to play in parade bands in New Orleans throughout the 1920s.

Jack Carey (1889-1934)

Crescent City Orchestra was a pioneering website during the "Information wants to be Free" era of the 1990s. In that spirit we are recovering the lost data from the now defunct site and sharing it with you.
Most of the music in the archive is in the form of MP3s hosted on or the French servers of where this music is all in the public domain.
Files unavailable from those sources we host ourselves. They were made from original 78 RPM records in the hands of private collectors in the 1990s who contributed to the original They were hosted as .ra files originally and we have converted them into the more modern MP3 format. They are of inferior quality to what is available commercially and are intended for reference purposes only. In some cases a Real Audio (.ra) file from will download. Don't be scared! Those files will play in many music programs, but not Windows Media Player.

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