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UNDAUNTED COURAGE INVENTIONS & DIMENSIONS of

CHICAGO

JAZZ & BLUES


UNDAUNTED COURAGE INVENTIONS & DIMENSIONS of

CHICAGO

JAZZ & BLUES


Chicago 1920

THE DEFENDER In May 1917 The Chicago Defender announced the Great Northern Drive that effectively urged black people to “flee the South.” This exodus had already begun, but soon many more were heading for the city. Between 1915 and 1925, 1.5 million blacks migrated to the North, and the 110,000 who moved to Chicago between 1916 and 1918 tripled the city’s black population. Robert S. Abbott founded The Chicago Defender on May 5, 1905, as “The World’s Greatest Weekly.” The paper was one in the history of the black press. Two-thirds of The Defender readership was located outside of Chicago, and the paper was read extensively throughout the South. Black porters and entertainers distributed it across the Mason/Dixon line, and at its height around 500,000 people read the paper. For record companies like Paramount, The Defender

‘On State Street they used to of fer to give it away But now you can’t get it if you of fer to pay You can’t get the stuf f no more’ “You Can’t Get The Stuff No More“ Tampa Red, 1932

II

was an ideal vehicle for advertising their artists. On February 6, 1956, the paper became The Chicago Daily Defender, the largest black-owned daily in the world The city changed tremendously during the first half of the twentieth century. Every day, immigrants from across America–and especially black people from the Southern States–Arrived in Chicago looking for the bright new future that they had read about in The Defender. During that time, Chicago was without a doubt the most musically vibrant city in United States, home to thriving blues and jazz communities. After The World War I, black vaudeville theaters like the Vendome and the Pekin were hugely popular, helping to bring both Ma Rainey and Ida Cox to prominence.


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

INTO THE LOOP The Loop was the center of Chicago’s bright-light district in the 20s, boasting hotels, dance halls, theaters, burlesque houses, and brothels. The crowds who flocked to the Loop provided an audience for the itinerant blues musicians who found their way to the city. State Street lined with department stores, ran through the center of the Loop. Bluesmen worked the street corners, looking for tips from the affluent shoppers. On the edge of the Loop was Chicago’s skid row, catering almost exclusively for men. This area was primarily working class, as well as interracial, and it was where many of the blues players were to be found.

Byll Wymans Blues Odyssey - A Journey To Music’s Heart & Soul

‘I used to have tunnel vision about Jazz, but Miles (Davis) totally opened me up’ He r b i e Ha ncock

III


Foreward

In 1925, inside Dreamland Café, State Street Chicago, a man blew his trumpet. Joe Dickson, that was what people called him. His skill, the music, and the atmosphere he created on the dance floor fascinated people. Joe Dickson, one of the greatest jazz musicians the world has ever known, had a very unbelievable talent, and an exceptional success in his career. However, not many people knew his rough past.

However, in America it seems that luck wasn’t on his side. He couldn’t find any job and became a sharecropper in a cotton field along with African American people. His boss, Jack Marvin, found him musically talented and decided to give him some music lessons. Marvin’s original intention was to have a personal entertainer to break the boredom, but for Joe it was a big opportunity for him to improve his skill.

Joe Dickson, born with the name Surya Diningrat was originally from Indonesia. He grew up in a wealthy family in Semarang-Central Java, and playing harmonica had always been his hobby. At the age of 12, Dutchmen, who were trying to take over Indonesia during that time, killed his parents due to political and economical reasons. Joe was then taken to Netherlands and enslaved in Enkhuizen, and old harbor in Enkhuizen city. With enormous Courage he moved to America as an illegal immigrant by hiding inside a barrel in an American merchant ship.

In 1925, Jack Marvin died and Joe Dickson was on the road again. The Cotton field was then abandoned. His newfound freedom and his talent leaded him toward “The Windy City”, Chicago. He became a street musician and once in a while performed in small cafes. Joe finally got his break at Chicago theatre. His career began to rise as he was signed on to the Riverside record label and started to make albums.

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Today, we commemorate Joe Dickson as one of the greatest musicians of all time. I hope this book reveals segments of his life that touch your heart and show you a portrait of the real Joe Dickson.


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

Joe Dickson, Chicago 1937

“Centuries and centuries of idealism have not failed to influence reality ...” Jorge Borges, Ton, Uqbar. Orbis Tertius

“Man’s achievements rest on the use of symbols.” Alfred Korzybski

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Table of Contents

VI


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

I-VII

Introduction

Chapter 1 Early Days

2-7

Chapter 2 Days in America

8-11

Chapter 3 The Windy City

12-21

Chapter 3 The Riverside Records

22-29

Chapter 4 The Carnegie Hall

30-35

Chapter 5 The Old Friends

36-39

Ending

40-43

VII


CHAPTER 1

EARLY DAYS

2


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

Time Frame 1907

1921

Joe Dickson original name is Surya Diningrat. He was born in 1907 in Indonesia. He grew up in a wealthy family in Semarang-Central Java; Surya’s family lived in a huge mansion on top of a hill. His father owned a large farmland and a huge cinnamon field. Playing harmonica had always been Surya’s hobby, since he loves playing in his parents cinnamon field. During that time Dutch took over almost the whole archipelago in Indonesia. In 1910 a strong nationalism movement was rising in Indonesia. Dutch got a lot of problems trying to stay control over Indonesia. The political power was bouncing between Indonesian nationalist and Dutch for quite a while. Diningrat family was one of the most influential families in Java. In 1919 Dutch killed Surya’s parents and burnt down their mansion. That time Surya was only 12 years old. He was then taken to Netherlands and enslaved in Enkhuizen, and old harbor in Enkhuizen city. For two years he worked as a slave in that harbor until he was able to escape by hiding inside a barrel in an American merchant ship.

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CHAPTER 1 Early Days

H o m e Ph o t o Central java, Indonesia.

17 October 1905

This is a photograph a small part of the Diningrat’s mansion in Indonesia that survive after being burnt down by the Dutch. This mansion was located on Abraham street no. 11 Semarang, Central Java Indonesia. This is the place where Surya Diningrat or Joe Dickson grew up. This mansion was bought by Joe’s parents when he was still 3 years old. On the day when Joe’s parents were murdered, he was hiding in the basement where his parents kept their wine that they got from trading with the Dutch. Exactly the next day after the incident, he walked out from his hiding place and took this photograph with an old camera he found underneath the ruin. When he took this photograph a Dutchmen saw him and capture him. He was then taken to Enkhuizen city, Netherlands as a slave. This photograph was able to be saved by him. He kept it in his pocket all the time to commemorate his parents Nigel Sielegar Archives Under The Cour tesy of Photography By Upton & Upton

4


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

Wind mill - Enkhuinzen city Netherlands

1865

Joe Dickson found this photograph in an old abandoned house close to the harbor where he was enslaved. He kept it in his journal, so that if he left Netherlands he would have something from Netherlands with him. Nigel Sielegar Archives Under The Cour tesy of Photography By Upton & Upton

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CHAPTER 1 Early Days

6


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

Journey in a book ---------

1919 - 1924

This journal is written in Indonesian. It was his habit to write his experience in Indonesian, because he found it more relaxing than wrote everything in any other language. It contain his journey after his parents got murdered untill he arrive in United States. Nigel Sielegar Archives

7


CHAPTER 2

DAYS in america

8


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

Time Frame 1921

1924

February 1921, ”America” an American merchant ship came to Enkhuinzen city. Joe was working on the harbor that day. He then decided to hide between barrels of goods in that ship and set sail to United States. Joe Dickson arrived on America on March 16, 1910. He was unable to find a job. He didn’t even know on which city it was, what he heard was just there might be a job opening on the town near that place. His English wasn’t very good, he just learned a little bit of English from some english classes that he took when he was a child He decided to move to the neighbor town. A guy named Jack Marvin gave him a job in his cotton field. He worked along with African American people as a sharecropper. Every time he got a chance he always played his old harmonica that he got from his parents when he was a child. Here is where he got his influence in jazz. His boss, Jack Marvin found him musically talented and decided to give him some music lessons. From those music lessons he learned to play trumpet. Jack Marvin’s intention was to break the boredom in the cotton field by having Joe playing music for him. But Joe used the opportunity really well to develop his skill.

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CHAPTER 2

Days in America

Childhood Harmonica ---------

---------

This is the harmonica that Joe Dickson got from his parents. He had this harmonica since he was 8 years old. This harmonica had always been in his pocket when he was enslaved in the harbor of Enkhuizen city, and he played it every time he got time. Also when he was working as a sharecropper, he played along with African American people during breaks. That’s where he got his influence in jazz music. Ni g e l Sielegar Archives

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Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

Golden Sound Trumpet ---------

---------

After the owner of the cotton field died. Joe was back on the road again. He tried to find a job for a while and still unable to find one. He then gathered all his money and bought himself a trumpet. He decided to become a street musician. This is Joe Dickson favorite trumpet. He used this trumpet on every big show. Nigel Sielegar Archives

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CHAPTER 3

The Windy City

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Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

Time Frame 1924

1932

The owner of the cotton field, where Joe Dickson was working, died in 1925 due to lung cancer. The cotton field was then abandoned. Joe Dickson back in the road again. He joined other worker traveling across the United States and end up in “The Windy City�, Chicago. He tried to find a job for a while and still unable to find one. He then gathered all his money and bought himself a trumpet. He decided to become a street musician. He usually performed on the state street, the district for entertainment in that time. A lot of cafes were open around that area. His skill made him able to step into some cafes and perform there. Dreamland cafe was one of the places where he used to perform.

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CHAPTER 3

The Windy City

The oriental Theater Chicago

1925

Joe Dickson found it beneath a trunk in the abandoned house near the place he work. This photograph inspired him to go to Chicago. He thought living in a big city would be better than living as a sharecropper. After his boss died due to lung cancer. He joined other worker and travelling toward Chicago and become a street musician. He always believe one day he will be able to perform in big theaters and have a good career.

Nigel Sielegar Archives

14


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

Joe Dickson’s Business Card Chicago

----------

The more he performed in cafes the more famous he gets. He started to get invitation from different kinds of cafes and bars in Chicago to perform there. This is an original Joe Dickson’s business card. He used this card for a while until he moved to New York. Nigel Sielegar Archives

15


CHAPTER 3

The Windy City

Palace Theater Chicago

January 10, 1930

This photograph was taken before Joe performed in the Palace Theater. Although he was only performing for five of his songs the palace was crowded and the tickets were all sold out. Joe became someone who has a really good reputation as an entertainer around State Street Chicago. Nigel Sielegar Archives

16


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

signature pen ----------

----------

This is Joe Dickson’s favorite pen. He wrote his journal and signed all his record contract with this pen. It used to belong to his father. On the day his father murdered this pen fell off his father’s pocket. He was able to find it the next day and kept it all his life as a commemorative of his father. Ni g e l Sielegar Archives

17


CHAPTER 3

The Windy City

18


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

chicago theater concert ad Chicago

1940

Joe Dickson became more and more popular. Ads for his concert were all over Chicago. Every time he wanted to do a concert, all the mass media always trying to get the inside scoop of what band is going to perform with him and every details about the concert. This is a short article about Joe Dickson’s first performance in the Chicago Theater. The concert ended up became one of his best concerts, and attracted thousand of jazz lover across the United States. Nigel Sielegar Archives Under the cour tesy of Time Magazine 1940

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CHAPTER 3

The Windy City

20


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

the cotton club press release Chicago

1932

After a while, Joe Dickson become more and more popular. Almost all of the cafes in Chicago are trying to have Joe Dickson to perform. This press release belonged to the cotton club, a very famous place for jazz player to perform during that time. Nigel Sielegar Archives

21


CHAPTER 4

The Riverside Records

22


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

Time Frame 1933

1940

Riverside records was launched on a shoestring budget in 1953 by traditional jazz enthusiasts Bill Grauer and Orrin Keepnews in order to reissue classic jazz and blues recordings from the 1920s by King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Ma Rainey, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Joe Dickson, and others, Riverside Records turned out to be one of the premier purveyors of modern jazz. With Keepnews producing the sessions, Riverside soon brought such giants as Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley, and Wes Montgomery to the forefront of American jazz music. Riverside records was a New York based company which also recorded albums by Sonny Rollins, Abbey Lincoln, Art Blakey, Mongo Santamaria, John Lee Hooker, Johnny Griffin, Charlie Byrd, and the Staple Singers, among many others, folded in 1964, a year after Grauer’s death. The Riverside catalog was acquired by Fantasy, Inc. in 1972. Riverside Record was the first record company to noticed Joe Dickson’s talent. They set contract with Joe Dickson to publish his all his albums. All Joe Dickson’s albums are big success. In 1972, Fantasy, Inc. started to rereleased his albums from 1935 till 1960.

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CHAPTER 4

The Riverside Records

oh How She can sing Chicago

1954

In 1954, based on his performance in the palace theater Joe Dickson got an offer to make an album. “Oh How She Can Sing� was his first album. It became a hit and thousands of copies were sold out. Nigel Sielegar Archives

24


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

Go My Lady record album Chicago

1968

Joe Dickson is famous for his original and high quality music. Almost every album that he produced always sold out in the market. Go my lady was released in the end of 1968; as usual thousands of copies were sold out.

Nigel Sielegar Archives

25


CHAPTER 4

The Riverside Records

26


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

oh how she can sing lyric sheet Chicago

1937

One of the most popular songs Joe Dickson had ever written, “Oh How She Can Sing�. This lyric sheet was sold thousands of copies through out United States. Nigel Sielegar Archives

27


CHAPTER 4

The Riverside Records

Hawaiian nightingale cd New York

1982

Joe Dickson’s albums have always been a hit. Until today his albums are re-released by modern record companies. This is an example of his re released Hawaiian Nightingale. The album was first released in 1936 by Riverside Records. In 1982 BMG music industry rereleased this album along with all of his albums from 1935 until 1940. Millions of copies were sold world wide and BMG is planning to re-release some other Joe Dickson’s albums from 1940 till 1960. Nigel Sielegar Archives

28


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

29


CHAPTER 5

The Carnegie Hall

THE CA R NEGIE H A LL

30


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

Time Frame 1937

1938

In the days before radio and television were invented, Carnegie Hall gave a prominent public forum to anyone with a cause. Early jazz was first heard at Carnegie Hall in 1912, in a concert of African-American music by James Reese Europe’s Clef Club Orchestra. This performance foreshadowed many stellar evenings featuring a cavalcade of jazz greats that has included Fats Waller, W. C. Handy, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, and Joe Dickson. A 1938 concert by Benny Goodman and his band, one of the most celebrated events in Carnegie Hall history, marked a turning point in the public acceptance of swing. Duke Ellington made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1943 with the premiere of his tone poem Black, Brown and Beige, and when Norman Granz toured his legendary “Jazz at the Philharmonic” programs, featuring In 1937 Joe Dickson became one of the most popular jazz musician in The Unites States. His music brought him to New York to play in the Carnegie Hall on October 18-22, 1937. His concert became a legend in the history of jazz in the Carnegie Hall. Joe Performed in The Carnegie Hall twice, in 1937 and 1938. Both are great career highlights for him.

31


CHAPTER 5

The Carnegie Hall

the carnegie hall Poster New York

1937

Carnegie hall was located in the heart of New York city. Even today Carnegie Hall is still a very famous amphiteather in New York. This poster was put up at the front door of Carnegie hall during his concert. Nigel Sielegar Archives Under The Courtesy of Literary Digest Magazine 1941

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Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

the carnegie hall concert ad TIME Magazine

1937

In October 18, 1937, Joe Dickson played his trumpet in his Carnegie Hall for the first time. His concert was a big hit and tickets were sold out weeks earlier. Ni g e l Sielegar Archives Un d e r The Cour tesy of Literar y Digest Magazine 1941

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CHAPTER 5

The Carnegie Hall

34


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

the carnegie hall Program New York

1938

This is the second time Joe Dickson perform in the Carnegie Hall New York. The program only state some songs but the concert really went longer than it supposed to be. Joe Dickson was able to perform for four Hours for all five days and made a history of one of the greatest jazz concerts in the United States. Nigel Sielegar Arc hives

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CHAPTER 6

Old Friends

36


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

Time Frame -----

-----

”I mean something to them, and they mean something to me. But one thing for sure, I’m nothing without them.” that had always been Joe Dickson’s answer everytime someone asking about his piles of letters and postcards. For Joe Dickson, keeping in touch with his friends had been a big priority. He always set aside some times to wrote some letters or postcards to his friends no matter how busy he was. His gleam past has made him a very sociable person.

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CHAPTER 6

Old Friends

A Letter From An Old Friend Netherland

1962

This Letter is written in Indonesian. Joko Sutanto was one of Joe Dickson’s friends when he was in Netherlands working as a slave. Joko also the person who helped him escaped to America. Nigel Sielegar Archives

38


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

postcard to jack Warner New York

1938

This postcard was sent to Jack Warner when Joe Dickson was having a concert in New York. Jack Warner was an old friend of Joe, and also he was his neighbor. Nigel Sielegar Archives

39


CHAPTER 7

The Old Joe

40


Undaunted Courage Inventions and Dimensions of Chicago Jazz & Blues

Time Frame 1948

1974

Joe Dickson continued became a successful jazz player. His Long journey was able to bring him to a brighter future. His Courage to choose his way of life earned him a great popularity and a successful career. He Married a Wonderful Woman named Cynthia Gale in the age of 37. She was a Jazz singer that he met in a small club in New York. In 1948, he got a chance to go back to Indonesia. He tried to look for his lost younger brother but, He couldn’t find him. His brother was also taken away by the Dutch when his parents were killed. He was able to save his brother free in Indonesia but couldn’t save himself and made him have to live as a slave in Netherlands for a while. In 1954, his wife, Cynthia got sick and on November 17, 1954 Cynthia passed away and Joe has to live alone. Joe’s career went down really fast after that tragedy. He retired in the age of 58 because his old body couldn’t keep up with his activities. He died in the age of 72 because of his poor health conditions.

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‘Any life is made up of a single moment, the moment in which a man finds out, once and for all, who he is.’ Jo r g e B o r g e s s



Undaunted Courage - Inventions and Dimentions of Chicago Jazz and Blues