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Writing and Essays

Noble Sissle
Pioneer of musical theater and song

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Noble Sissle Orchestra
from a Pathe music short,
London, December 1930

L to R: Billy Burns, Tommy Ladnier, Edward Cole, Arthur Briggs, Jack Carter, Noble Sissle, Rudy Jackson, Frank Etheridge, Ramon Usera, Frank Goudie, Lloyd Pinckney

Noble Sissle
Indiana, 1889 - Florida, 1975

Sissle had a significant role producing early black musical theater in London and Europe.  He partnered with Eubie Blake producing Shuffle Along (1921) and was an important catalyst nurturing and introducing such stellar talent to Europe as Sidney Bechet, Tommy Ladnier, Arthur Briggs and Johnny Dunn.  Sissle returned to the United States after 1930.

A cross section of American Jazz talent in Paris, 1930

Musicians assembled to greet American Gold Star Families [of fallen WWI soldiers].  Many seen here were working for Noble Sissle, seen crouching front left, at
Les Ambassadeurs.  A prestigious club just off the Champs-Elysee, it catered to a clientele of statesmen, diplomats, prime ministers, kings of commerce and multimillionaires.

L to R: Rudy Jackson, alto; Albert Tines, alto; George Warren or Ramon Usera tenor; Horace Eubanks, clarinet; Big Boy Goudie, alto; Jack Carter (with cigarette), drums; Bennie Peyton, drums; Warren Harrison, guitar; Oliver Tines, drums; Edward Cole, tuba; Glover Compton (beneath tuba) piano; Billy Burns, trombone; Gene Bullard, drums; Tommy Ladnier, Snow Fisher, Arthur Briggs, Crickett Smith, trumpets.

Traveling Blues, Lindstrom & Vernhettes)