Chelsea Brasted, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
Listen to the 1st jazz recordings ever, which were made 99 years ago today
On Feb. 26, 1917, Nick LaRocca, Henry Ragas and the rest of the Original Dixieland Jass Band stepped into a recording studio in New York City. Now, 99 years ago, what the band recorded that day is considered by many to be the first ever recordings of jazz music.
However it happened, though, the sound forever changed the way people understand — and hear — New Orleans.
The group performed and recorded two tracks: "Dixie Jass Band One-Step" and "Livery Stable Blues." The pair of songs were released a few weeks later for the Victor Talking Machine Company, and as an unexpected surprise for the recording company, became an instant hit. Victor sold more than a million copies of the 78s, which fans could pick up for 75 cents at the time.
LaRocca, the The Original Dixieland Jass Band leader, wrote other songs that have since become jazz standards, like "Clarinet Marmalade" and "Tiger Rag." The band's popularity helped them travel to Europe and around the country, but eventually they broke up in the years after World War I and LaRocca moved home to New Orleans.
Listen to the original recordings below.
"Dixie Jass Band One-Step"
"Livery Stable Blues”