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Sun Ra's ChicagoAfrofuturism and the City$
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William Sites

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226732077

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226732244.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

South Side Music Scene

South Side Music Scene

(p.57) 4 South Side Music Scene
Sun Ra's Chicago

William Sites

University of Chicago Press

Sonny Blount arrived in Chicago in 1946. This chapter examines his initial years in the city, where musical work in different circumstances—show-club arranging with Fletcher Henderson at the Club DeLisa, session recordings for Leonard Chess’s Aristocrat label, self-recorded rehearsals with young bebop players, strip-club accompaniment in Calumet City—offered both hardship and extraordinary musical variety. Tracing Blount’s activities across various settings reveals how particular racial and spatial conditions affected different centers of musical production, how production at these sites addressed an array of social issues, and how one cohort of South Side musicians developed community ideals that ranged beyond conventional liberal notions of black leadership and progress. Despite the racial conflicts and economic challenges reshaping black Chicago, Sonny Blount and many of his colleagues experienced the early post–World War II years as a historical moment full of possibility.

Keywords:   African American, Sonny Blount, Fletcher Henderson, Club DeLisa, Leonard Chess, Calumet City, bebop, South Side, urban, music scene

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