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I'll Just Go Along

Art Hickman & His Orchestra


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The Bandleader
Who Hated Jazz


This side was recorded in San Francisco, California at the Clift Hotel on April 26th 1927 by dance bandleader & pianist Art Hickman and his Orchestra.

Arthur G. Hickman born in Oakland, California on June 13th 1886 was a drummer, pianist, and band leader whose orchestra is sometimes cited as an ancestor to Big band music. Although his orchestra has often been credited with being among the first jazz bands this notion was even disputed by Hickman himself. Art Hickman was no fan of "Jazz" (despite the fact that his music came to be considered as such) and in fact refused to acknowledge that Jazz was music at all, referring to it as "noise."

While his mother had been in vaudeville, Art himself had no musical training. Nonetheless by 1913 he was playing piano and or drums for a San Francisco hotel. By 1914 he was leading a band which would at times be called a "Jazz band", but he still rejected the term as late as 1920 and possibly even later. He strongly associated jazz with African Americans, at times in a disparaging way; with admiration at others. In 1917 he had one of his biggest hits with the song "Rose Room," named after the hotel room and by the 1920 had one of the highest paid bands in the United States. Art Hickman's Orchestra was also one of the first dance bands to have a saxophone section, and in 1926 they performed in the Ziegfeld Follies.

Art Hickman resided in San Francisco, California for most of his life. He had intended to do a history of Jazz concert series, however by 1929 he was suffering from Banti's syndrome. On January 16th 1930 he finally succumbed to the illness.

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