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eMusic Features


Blueslore #02: The Natchez Fire

By John Morthland, Contributor

The Moneywasters Social Club had sold 557 tickets (50 cents in advance, 65 at the door) to its dance at the Rhythm Club in Natchez, Mississippi, on April 23, 1940. Tiny Bradshaw's orchestra, originally scheduled to play, had cancelled when a booking came through at the Apollo Theater in Harlem for the same night. The replacement was Walter Barnes 'Sophisticated Swing Orchestra, but nobody in Natchez's black community of about 9600 people was complaining. Clarinetist… more »