Musical History of Tacoma

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Cushman School Band

-- by Kim Davenport At first glance, the photograph above looks like many others of its era. A group of about twenty young men and boys pose in uniform with their band instruments, primarily brass and drums, the largest of which is positioned front and center and features the name of the group. In the... Continue Reading →

A Legacy in Artifacts

- by Kim Davenport - Julius Adler is a name I've come across many times in connection to musical stories from Tacoma around the turn of the 20th century. His time here was short - 1899-1902 - but he left behind a range of artifacts which document his career as a musician. Amidst the photographs and... Continue Reading →

Chris Knutsen and the Harp Guitar

-- by Kim Davenport Tacoma has no shortage of guitar-related history, from a wide array of performers playing our venues to the Tacoma Guitars line manufactured here from the 1990s through the early 2000s. But today's story takes us back a century prior, to a creative instrument builder who patented his designs for the harp... Continue Reading →

The Doma Tacoma!

-- by Kim Davenport My recent project - digitizing vinyl that has been hiding out in the collections of local libraries and historical societies - has uncovered another fun gem! This novelty song, The Doma Tacoma, was written by local musician Arel Thomas and performed by The Kicks, a short-lived early-1980's band, in honor of the... Continue Reading →

Booster Songs for a New Hometown

-- by Kim Davenport With thanks again to the Northwest Room librarians at Tacoma Public Library, I'm pleased to share audio of music by Joe Jordan from two 45-rpm albums that have been sitting in the library's basement archives since the 1960s. As I've previously shared here and here, Joe Jordan, a musician out of the... Continue Reading →

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

-- by Kim Davenport As someone who enjoys researching local history, and who also happens to come from a long line of music teachers, it is not surprising that I have spent a substantial amount of time over the past few years exploring the story of Margaret Rawson Goheen and the choral program she developed... Continue Reading →

Loretta Lynn, Buck Owens, and KTNT

-- by Kim Davenport Many of the stories we've shared here are about homegrown Tacoma musicians. Occasionally, though, we stumble on an interesting coincidence of history, a moment in time when Tacoma played a significant role in the career of a musician from elsewhere. Such is the tale of how an appearance on Tacoma television... Continue Reading →

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