Booster Songs, 2021 Edition

-- by Kim Davenport Back in 2017, which feels like a lifetime ago after the epic journey that was 2020, I shared a talk at The Swiss (RIP) about "booster songs" written in honor of Tacoma during the period 1890-1920. A musical form of boosterism and advertising, the songs are fun to explore for their... Continue Reading →

Barks House of Music

-- by Kim Davenport Theodore Barks was just 5 years old when he arrived in Tacoma in 1888 with his parents and older brother Edward. On the long journey by train from Marysville, Kansas, where Theodore was born, the family would have passed through the Northern Pacific tunnel that had just been cut through the... Continue Reading →

Nettie Asberry: Keeping Harmony in Tacoma

-- by Hannah Currie Nettie Asberry was a shining public figure and musician in Tacoma history. She paved the way for many people of color and was never afraid to speak her mind. Her social activism permeated all facets of her life, including her music. This article addresses her life, her affects on her community... Continue Reading →

Honolulu Conservatory of Music

-- by Kim Davenport Beginning in the 1930s with Hollywood films like Waikiki Wedding and Her Jungle Love, and only growing with the success of South Pacific and the return of soldiers from World War II, a fascination with all things Hawaiian was in full swing throughout the United States by the late 1940s. 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 →

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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