The Musical Legacy of St. Louis, Missouri

From early blues & jazz to modern chopper rap & alternative country - explore St. Louis' musical legacy & discover how it shaped American music.

The Musical Legacy of St. Louis, Missouri

The state of Missouri has a long and storied history when it comes to music. From the early days of blues and jazz to the modern-day sounds of alternative country and chopper rap, Missouri has been the birthplace of many influential musicians and styles.

Louis Sound

is a 6,000-square-foot exhibition that introduces visitors to the city's deep musical history and shares the stories of Missouri music creators, legendary artists who helped shape the American music landscape through material artifacts and multimedia elements that celebrate the sounds of St. Louis. Kansas City is home to famous artists such as Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Lester Young and their own distinctive jazz style.

Ragtime took hold in the city of Sedalia, Missouri, thanks to Scott Joplin and his editor John Stark, and through another native of Missouri, James Scott. Country blues singer-songwriter Lottie Kimbrough was born in West Bottoms, Kansas City, Missouri. The University of Missouri School of Music was established in 1917 in Columbia, Missouri, and has thousands of students. Missouri jazz artists include Dixieland's clarinetist, composer, and jazz and ragtime band director Wilbur Sweatman; trumpet player, saxophonist, accordionist and bandleader Charlie Creath; ragtime musician and songwriter Scott Joplin; saxophonist and bebop composer Charlie Parker; tenor saxophonists Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Jimmy Forrest; pianist and conductor Bennie Moten; trumpet players Shorty Baker, Clark Terry, Lester Bowie, Louis Metcalf and Baikida Carroll; violinist Eddie South; alto saxophonists Luther Thomas and Jimmy Woods; saxophonist and composer Ahmad Alaadeen; guitarists Grant Green, Pat Metheny and Norman Brown; drummer Phillip Wilson; organists Wild Bill Davis, Milt Buckner and Charles Kynard; soft jazz musicians Bob James and David Sanborn; and singers Anita O'Day and Oleta Adams. Branson's top local attractions include businesswoman and performer Jennifer Wilson, a regional celebrity known for her show at the American Theater, the Mabe family's Baldknobbers jamboree Baldknobbers which has been performing for three generations, and Jim Owen of the Jim Owen Morning Show. However, the area's history of broadcasting country music dates back to nearby Springfield, Missouri in the mid-1930s when Ralph D.

Foster's KWTO began broadcasting live performances and distributing them to other stations across the country. The station's most famous program was Ozark Jubilee which starting in 1955 was broadcast live on ABC-TV across the country. Foster became an important figure in the region's music history; there is a museum named after him on the College of the Ozarks campus. Other national country television shows originating in Springfield were Five Star Jubilee and Talent Varieties. The television artists Porter Wagoner and Speck Rhodes were from West Plains, Missouri.

In the mid-1980s the Saint Louis area (and nearby southern Illinois) was home to garage rock band The Primitives and rock band Blue Moons. The Blue Moons featured Mark Ortmann a native of Festus on drums and Brian Henneman. Angel Olsen is a folk and indie rock singer songwriter and guitarist who grew up in St. Louis.

Nathaniel Rateliff was born in St. Louis and grew up in Hermann before initially moving to Colorado to work in an evangelical ministry after which he became bitter about religion and began to dedicate himself to music professionally. The St. Louis area is home to many bands from diverse genres such as jazz rock American music hip-hop as well as world-class institutions such as St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Fox Theatre.

The St. Louis Symphony moved to the new Ross Family Theater at the stunning Kirkwood Performing Arts Center where they now have live music every night. Whether it's dancing in the style of Stevie Ray Vaughn in Soulard neighborhood a trendy suburban bistro or the joyful improvisation of a Grateful Dead tribute band in The Loop live music scene delights visitors convention-goers locals every night. Branson's modern music festivals include Old-Time Fiddle Festival Branson Jam State of Ozarks Fiddlers Convention all celebrating conventional country music. Tech N9ne from Kansas City helped popularize chopper rap style late 1990s co-founded label Strange Music."Louis is a legendary musical city that music definitely became a big part of my life" said Edwards local musician who plays several bands runs largest band agency metropolitan area. The book continues share unusual stories various European settlers such as French German who established communities region "I'm old gray don't go concerts like before but with media music can't be missing this city" said Penny Moon local musician.

Loretta Shemanski
Loretta Shemanski

Evil foodaholic. Infuriatingly humble pop culture enthusiast. Evil social media ninja. Unapologetic coffee buff. Food enthusiast. Certified zombie enthusiast.