Vibe du Jour // Speakeasy Times: Prohibition Era Music

Published on January 5th, 2013 by Lauren Valenti
Speakeasy Times

“Prohibition was supposed to usher in an era of sobriety and restraint. Instead, America’s “Noble Experiment” was submerged by the madcap wave of the Roaring ’20s, when inventive recording artists on their way to fame unleashed spirited sounds that set the tone for the century”

Every morning when I venture into Starbucks for my morning coffee, I peruse the display albums as I always the love the compilations they choose. Call it Boardwalk Empire fever, of which I certainly am under the influence, but when I saw the beautiful cover featuring a 1920s’ vixen and “SPEAKEASY TIMES” plastered above her, I was immediately intrigued. I had dabbled into 20s’ music but I’ve always known I wanted to delve deeper into the era.

Once I had a look at the track list, I was immediately sold. Not only did I see some familiar favorites, such as Duke Ellington, Bill Crosby, and Louis Armstrong, but I was also introduced to some artists I’d never heard of before. The album sleeve also gave a brief history of each artist which always makes me appreciate the music more. Just from looking I knew there had to be some hidden gems, and was I ever right! Find your fellow booze hounds, throw a party, and have a listen!

  1. Ruth Etting – Button Up Your Overcoat!
  2. George Olsen and His Music – The Varsity Drag
  3. Benny Moten’s Kansas City Orchestra – Get Low-Down Blues
  4. Duke Ellington – East St. Louis Toodle-oo
  5. Cab Calloway – Minnie the Moocher
  6. The Charleston Chasers – Moanin’ Low
  7. Frankie Trumbauer & His Orchestra (Featuring Bix Beiderbecke) – Singin’ the Blues
  8. Jimmie Rodgers – Blue Yodel No. 9 (Standin’ on the Corner)
  9. Mississippi Mud Steppers – Jackson Stomp
  10. Bessie Smith – Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out
  11. The Mills Brothers – Diga, Diga Doo
  12. Josephine Baker – Aux Iles Hawaii
  13. Bing Crosby – Some of These Days
  14. Louis Armstrong – I’ve Got the World on a String
  15. Ethel Waters – Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin’ All the Time)
  16. Bert Williams – The Moon Shines on the Moonshine

Speakeasy Era

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