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Fri, 09.14.1923

The Oklahoma City Blue Devils Band is formed.

The Oklahoma City Blue Devils

*The Oklahoma City Blue Devils are celebrated on this date in 1923. They were the premier Black Southwest territory jazz band in the 1920s. Originally called Billy King's Road Show, the name Blue Devils came from the name of a gang of fence cutters operating during the early days of the American West.

The personnel included some of the finest musicians produced in two decades of Jazz in the Southwest and Midwest. Several prominent jazz musicians were members, including Lester YoungWilliam "Count" Basie, and Buster Smith. The Blue Devils disbanded in 1933.

The 1979 film The Last of the Blue Devils documents a musical reunion with Basie, Big Joe Turner, and other figures from southwestern and Kansas City Jazz history.

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From deep sleep I sat upright And clutched his new lapels, For he was laughing. Back from the dead He came, I say, Laughing I asked not "Are you not dead?" But "What is it?" His talcum chin, And pebbles eyes, And... NIGHTMARE by James Emanuel.
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