Library JAM Session: Celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month at a Public Library

Jam Horizontal

April was designated Jazz Appreciation Month in 2001 by John Edward Hasse, curator of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. By 2002, it became an official annual event which celebrates jazz’s heritage and history as well as the current jazz scene that lives on to this day. This year’s theme celebrates women in jazz and this year’s featured musician is Ella Fitzgerald, in honor of her centennial birthday.

I currently work at a local library and suggested we put up a few Jazz Appreciation Month displays for the month of April. As such, I was in charge of creating the displays.

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Playlist: Early Jazz in Southern California

Early Jazz in SoCal 8tracks cover

(Pictured here: first row, L to R – The Creole Palace nightclub in San Diego, Nordskog Recording Studios in Santa Monica, The Palomar Ballroom in Hollywood; second row, L to R – record label for Jazz Man Records, record label for the Spikes Brothers’ Sunshine label; third row, L to R – bassist Don Tosti, Johnny St. Cyr, Kid Ory, and Louis Armstrong playing on Disneyland’s Mark Twain Riverboat, Paul Howard’s Quality Serenaders.)

Early jazz history in Southern California was the topic of my undergraduate senior thesis, which I completed in June 2016. My thesis examined the history of early jazz in four distinct regions of Southern California: Downtown & South Los Angeles, Westside Los Angeles, Disneyland in Orange County, and San Diego. In the future I’d like to delve into even more regarding Southern California jazz, such as jazz in Hollywood films, and there is a lot more about women present in Southern California’s classic jazz scenes, jazz at the Disneyland Resort, and jazz in San Diego that I’d like to further research. As such, I plan on revisiting and building upon this research topic even more in my future studies.

Listen to the playlist HERE

Tracklist and information about the tracks:

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Pop Unmuted Episode 24: Pet Sounds at 50

Hi everyone! It’s been a year since I’ve updated this blog – this past year has been hectic! Hopefully, I’ll have more time to write for this blog now.

First things first, a couple months ago I was graciously invited to join Scott Interrante and Kurt Trowbridge on their Pop Unmuted podcast for the second time. On this episode, we talked about The Beach Boys’ legendary Pet Sounds album in celebration of the album’s 50th anniversary this year!

Check it out by clicking the cover:a0235025871_10

You can find the Pop Unmuted podcast on their Official Website, iTunes, and Stitcher.

Follow Pop Unmuted on: Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

Movie Review: Love & Mercy, the Brian Wilson biopic


I might be the world’s most critical person when it comes to biopics. This is often due to the fact that I am, at my core, a historian and value as much historical accuracy as is possible when it comes to these types of movies. Films have an impact and, for some reason, the vast majority of mainstream audiences tend to believe that what a biopic tells them about an event or someone’s life is basically true. I have seen too many biopics, especially music-related biopics, fail horribly at giving the real story (ahem, Oliver Stone’s The Doors…) so as you can imagine, when I learned that a biopic on one of my musical heroes (Brian Wilson) from my all-time favorite band (The Beach Boys) was in the works, I was super weary about it. Previous made-for-tv biopics regarding The Beach Boys have been, quite frankly, absolutely horrendous. I’ve been a devoted fan of The Beach Boys since I was about 11 or 12 years old and I have been researching them ever since – and so I went into the new Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy extra critical, knowing I’d pretty much be able to catch any inaccuracies (or outright lies).

Thankfully, I was not terribly disappointed.

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Pop Unmuted Episode 11

I was graciously invited to talk about the new Brian Wilson album No Pier Pressure and veteran pop musicians in general with Scott Interrante, Kurt Trowbridge, and Bill Smith on the latest episode of the Pop Unmuted podcast. Check it out!

Follow Pop Unmuted on: Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

You can also find the Pop Unmuted podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Bandcamp and Stitcher.

Missy’s Top 3 Favorite Albums of 2014

Happy new year everyone!!! As I did on my blog last year when it was hosted on Tumblr, I’ve reviewed three of my favorite albums released in 2014. There were many great albums that came out this year that I really loved (Jason Moran’s All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller almost made this list!) but the following albums took the cake for me. Continue reading

Featured in The Discographer’s Magazine’s June 2014 issue


Hello, everyone!

My work has been featured in the 78rpm Collectors’ Community’s June newsletter! I wrote a new article on jazz musician Frank Teschemacher and, with my permission, they also included my End of the Golden Age of Chicago Jazz piece, which you may have already read here on this blog. You can find my article on Teschemacher starting on page 52 and my Chicago Jazz piece starting on page 62.

Check it out HERE

Oh Shenandoah, I Long To Hear You

The “what’s your all-time favorite song?” question is an almost impossible question for me to answer. I can usually only answer with my top 5 or split it by genres, and always with a disclaimer that my lists of favorites always change. There are only a few songs that are consistently top favorites and one of those songs is the American folk song “Shenandoah”. Continue reading

The Liebster Award


Since I’m so new to WordPress blogging, I had never heard about this cute little award until I was nominated by my dear friend Nicole of Wanderlust Stardust. I thank her very much for nominating me, especially since I have only one post over here so far!

Apparently the award is a cute way to discover new blogs and learn more about the people behind the blogs.

Receivers of the Award must:

  • Answer the 11 questions posed to them by their nominators.
  • Post 11 interesting things about themselves.
  • Create a new list of 11 questions for future award receivers to answer.
  • Nominate 11 more bloggers with less than 200 followers for the award.

Since I don’t follow many people here on WordPress yet I probably will be skipping the last two rules but I might as well answer Nicole’s 11 questions and post 11 things about myself, so that any readers of this blog can get to know me.

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