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— Springfield's Musical Heritage


Dallas Bartley was a part of the African-American musical tradition in Springfield. A few of the other local performers are pictured below.

Jazz Hounds


Ray Pike's Jazz Hounds, shown around 1919. Ray Pike was Dallas Bartley's maternal uncle.
Unidentified musicians


At left are unidentified musicians in Springfield's South Town area (in the vicinity of Grand and Grant Streets).

David Bedell


David Bedell was among the original Lincolnites who played with Dallas Bartley and Bebop Brown in the 1930s. Bedell later opened a music store, the Drum Key, and continued to play with local musical groups, even after retirement.
Bebop Brown


Another former Lincolnite was John 'Bebop' Brown. He settled in Springfield after playing with the Rabbitfoot Minstrels and performing with orchestras on the West Coast. Until the 1970s, Brown's clubs were the center of nightlife in the black community. An experienced plumber, Brown could not get a city license for years because he was black. He finally became the first black master plumber in Springfield.
Philharmonics

The Philharmonics sang on national television as regulars on the Ozarks Jubilee. They are shown here in Springfield's Gibson Chapel, 1947.

Hardin Brothers


The Hardin Brothers were taught harmony at Lincoln High School by Adah Fulbright. After graduating, they went to New York City, where they immediately achieved success. They worked major clubs like the Apollo Theater in New York City, the Grove in Boston, and they sang at Carnegie Hall on the bill with Count Basie and Duke Ellington. They had just recorded their first sides for Decca records when one of the brothers was drafted. They did not resume their musical careers after World War II, but were successful in business and professional careers.

Etta Moten


Etta Moten, daughter of a Benton Avenue Methodist Church minister, starred on Broadway in "Porgy and Bess."


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This online exhibit is from the
Special Collections and Archives Department,
Missouri State University
Springfield, Missouri.

Visit the department's website.


No part of this site may be reproduced
without written permission from the Archives.

This exhibit was last updated on May 18, 2006 .