LA MUSIC HISTORY

 

Rock stars, Jazzers, Pachucos...they may have grown up somewhere else quaint, like Sandusky, Ohio, or Canada, but they made their mark here—lived, created and died here. Music is as much a part of the L.A. legacy as film and television. From the bebop rapture of the old Cotton Club in Culver City to the head-banging kicks of the Whiskey a Go-Go—neighborhoods have changed, but the memories will last forever.

1919
On October 24, Walter Henry Rothwell conducts the first performance of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Trinity Auditorium downtown.

1926
Bing Crosby is discovered (along with his singing partner Al Rinker) by acclaimed bandleader Paul Whiteman while performing at the Metropolitan Theatre on 6th and Hill Street.

1929
Lifelong New Yorker Irving Berlin moves temporarily to the Roosevelt Hotel to supervise the filming of the musical Puttin' on the Ritz, the first film to feature his signature title song.

1930
Louis Armstrong starts a rather regular engagement as the featured performer at the Cotton Club at Washington and National in Culver City.

1936
At the age of 14, soon-to-be-famous Charles Mingus is encouraged by a classmate at Jordan High School in Watts to drop the cello and take up the bass because, according to the friend, jazz is more accepting of black performers than classical music is.

1937
The Oklahoma and Woody Show debuts on July 19 on AM station KFVD (located near Wilshire and Western), starring a 25-year-old Woody Guthrie and his cousin Jack singing cowboy songs.

Singer-songwriter Lalo Guerrero, the so-called Father of Chicano Music, moves from Tucson, Arizona, in his early twenties to start performing at the La Bamba nightclub, located downtown at Macy and Spring.

1940
The Hollywood Palladium opens in the fall with a performance by Frank Sinatra and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.

1943
In the Alpine barrio near downtown Los Angeles, the Zoot Suit Riots occur June 3–10, after an altercation between American sailors and Mexican-American teenagers dressed in zoot suits. On June 4, 200 sailors commandeer taxis to find and attack Mexican Americans in downtown and East L.A.

1946