Recently, I found out that Richard Shade Gardner over at Rochesterblog.com, an online cyberjournal about Rochester and its people, history, etc., had told my business partner that he wanted to link swap (and he has, in fact, linked to Jazz@Rochester). I had come across Richard's blog awhile ago and had always meant to take a closer look, but hadn't. You see, Richard writes....a lot and I've been having trouble recently doing the one thing required to follow someone like him . . . reading. But once I took the time, I found a rich source about all things Rochester. Once a week for several years he has written a long form article and published it on the blog. The articles span a gamut from a topless protest on Cobb's Hill to H.O.G. (House of Guitars for the uninitiated).
In looking back into Rochester's past, he even touches on its history of jazz, including a wonderful article on happening upon a plaque in the Swillburg neighborhood commemorating:
In the middle of a small grassy square, encircled by Avon Place, Fountain Street, and Sycamore Street - tiny streets lined with small hundred-year-old homes - I spot a modest granite monument. I step across the grass and read the bronze plaque:
Dedicated to Cabel "Cab" Calloway the king of "Hi-De-Ho" - An internationally known band leader, singer, dancer, actor and composer. Cab, an African-American, was born in Rochester, New York on December 25, 1907 and once lived at 14 Sycamore Street.
As I've said many times before, Rochester has a rich jazz history and Cab Calloway is a big part of that history. I really enjoyed reading and hope to find more of that history. Check out this short movie Hi-De-Ho with Cab and the band playing in a Santa Fe sleeper and at the Cotton Club (complete with fan dancers...):