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Interesting people in Ohio Music History
This is not necessarily a jazz page - but Ohio has a wide and varied musical story to tell. I will try to encapsulate some of these stories.

  Singer and actress Dorothy Dandridge
was born in Cleveland, Ohio November 9, 1922. Raised in a broken home, she learned some singing and dancing in Cleveland, then she and her sister moved to Hollywood. Her first big break was in an act called "The Dandridge Sisters" in the "Big Broadcast of 1936." After a first bad marriage, she worked with Phil Moore, who assisted her with her singing and image. After a period of night club and lounge work, her stage and screen career took off. She was the first black actress to be nominated for Best Actress,(Carmen Jones) but did not win an Academy Award. She did win a Golden Globe for her work in "Porgy and Bess." Another bad marriage presaged the end of her career. The photo shows her as "Julie" in "Show Boat", one of her favorite roles. Dorothy died from an overdose of antidepressant in 1965 and is buried in California.

For much more information about Dorothy Dandridge, Click on the following website.


members.aol.com/book1.htm - 68k -


Ted Lewis (real name Theodore Friedman) was a star in big-time vaudeville. He was known as "the high-hatted tragedian of jazz." While not a jazz musician, he, as in the case of Paul Whiteman, realized the stength and possibilities of jazz, and encouraged it. Ted's first gig was at the Electric Theatre in Circleville. It was a Nickelodeon theatre - 3 shows a day for 5 cents! From then on, it was nowhere but up. His bands, both touring and recording, included some of the best jazzmen of the day. While Whiteman pushed the "symphonic jazz" side, Ted championed the novelty side of small-band jazz. Frequent recordings were made featuring such as Benny Goodman, Muggsy Spanier, Fats Waller, and his favorite trombonist George Brunis. Many of the next generation of jazz musicians were influenced as youths by the success of Ted as he strutted with a clarinet or a bright shiny sax on stage.

Circleville, Ohio has its Ted Lewis Park, and an interesting though small museumdedicated to its favorite son. The accompanying image is from the collection of Andy Klein of Columbus, Ohio.

Archie "Stomp" Gordon - "Two Tons of Torrid Rhythm"
Stomp was born in Columbus, Ohio,in 1935 and died in New York City in 1958.

Autographed record by Ted Lewis

The sheet music was a hit by Ted Lewis. It was published in the mid-twenties.