Have you been wondering who released the first Dixieland Jazz record? You don’t have to look any farther. The answer to that would be the Original Dixieland Jass Band. They recorded the song Livery Stable Blues and Dixie Jass Band One Step on February 26, 1917 for the Victor Talking Machine Company.
The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, they changed the spelling of Jass to Jazz later in 1917, billed themselves as the “Creators of Jazz”. They were a group of white musicians who copied African-American southern music. The billing as the “Creators of Jazz” was more of a marketing slogan than anything else.
This first record was first marketed as a novelty. It did give many people their first taste of jazz and soon became a hit. It went on to sell over a million copies.
Nick La Rocca, who played trumpet, lead the band with Larry Shields on clarinet; Eddie Edwards on trombone; Tony Sbarbaro on drums and Henry Ragas on the piano.
The Band would record many more songs in an on and off career that would last until after World War II. The songs they recorded up until 1920 were in a variety of styles including traditional square dance. Their specialty was frantic group improvisation.
In 2006 the band was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for their 1917 recording of the Darktown Strutter’s Ball.