Explore the Cedar Valley music scene from the early 20th century through 1980. The twentieth century began with a cacophony of localized ethnic music. Each ethnic identity had a style that was unique to their culture. One could tell where they were in the city depending on the style of music they were hearing. A lively Irish jig from a fiddle emanated around St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Near St. Mary’s Catholic Church, a waltz played on a zither while a somber violin melody rose from the growing Jewish Community on Fifth Street. A performance by the Waterloo Cedar Falls. Symphony was the pinnacle of the cultured population’s experience. By the 1920s the musical landscape exploded as Blues and Jazz clubs popped up, boosting a Mississippi Delta sound from the Colored Elks Clubs and the Tic Toc Lounge. Cultures blended and produced different genres as the scene changed again in the 1940s when Big Bands took over Electric Park. Radio and television brought the Rock and Roll sound in the 1950s with great local bands like Happy Jake and Band taking the stage at Spider Kurth’s. By the early 1980s local Jazz, and Big Bands were gone, a victim of changing tastes in music and the passing of generations that brought the music with them on their migration.
Sponsors: Gallagher Family Foundation, Marie Brown (In Memory of Raymond Brown), David and Mary Kabel, ‘93.5 The Mix’ and ‘Crusin KCFI 1250 & 105.1’