Rudi Blesh Photo

Rudi Blesh

Born: Jan 21, 1899

Death: Aug 25, 1985

Birthplace: Guthrie

Nationality: United States

Rudi Blesh

Date of Birth : Jan 21, 1899
Date of Death : Aug 25, 1985
Birth Place : Guthrie

Rudi Blesh was an American jazz critic and enthusiast. Blesh studied at Dartmouth College and held jobs writing jazz reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Herald Tribune in the 1940s. He was a prolific promoter of jazz concerts, particularly New Orleans jazz, and hosted a jazz radio program, This Is Jazz, in 1947. Blesh in collaboration with Harriet Janis wrote They All Played Ragtime which was published in 1950 by Alfred A Knopf. A promotional record consisting of "Maple Leaf Rag" recorded to piano roll by Jerry Roll Morton in 1907 and an interview with the co-authors was sent to radio stations. They All Played Ragtime proved to be a popular book and is credited as the cause for a renewed public interest in ragtime music. Blesh founded Circle Records in 1946, which recorded new material from aging early jazz musicians as well as the Library of Congress recordings of Jelly Roll Morton. He sparked renewed interest in the music of Joseph Lamb, James P. Johnson, and Eubie Blake, among others.

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