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McMichael, Ed "Tuba Man" (1955-2008)

With a brassy street name like that of some improbable superhero, Ed "Tuba Man" McMichael made a remarkable impact on the Puget Sound region during a two-decade-long career as a Seattle musician who s...

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Memories of Aqua Theatre

In this People's History, Donovan Gray remembers wonderful times on the stage of the Aqua Theatre, located on Seattle's Green Lake. The Aqua Theatre opened on August 11, 1950, as part of Seattle's fir...

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Merceedees (1913-2000)

Seattle was graced throughout the 1950s by the presence of an extremely elegant and popular local chanteuse who billed herself simply as "Merceedees." Born Mercedes Welcker, she was a piano-playing Ch...

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Moore Theatre (Seattle)

The Moore Theatre, Seattle's oldest existing entertainment venue, stood as one of the finest houses on all the West Coast when it opened in December 1907. Located on 2nd Avenue and Virginia Street, th...

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Morrison, Morrie and Alice -- Northwest Music Industry Pioneers

At the dawn of the Roaring Twenties, a Pacific Northwest couple -- Howell Oakdeane "Morrie" Morrison (1888-1984) and his wife, Alice Nadine Morrison (1892-1978) -- launched what became the region's fi...

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Muzak, Inc. -- Originators of "Elevator Music"

The Pacific Northwest is renowned for being the geographical base of hard-rocking music scenes that have produced musicians ranging from the garage-punk pioneers the Sonics to acid-rock hero Jimi Hend...

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National Institute of Music and Arts, Inc. (Seattle)

Seattle -- already proud of its robust music and arts schools including, among others, the University of Washington's School of Music and the Cornish School -- gained for a time another ambitious educ...

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Nite Owl Records and Everett's 1950's R&B Stars: The Shades

The rainy lumber-mill town of Everett, Washington, may seem an improbable home for a multi-racial teenaged doo-wop group -- especially one that scored a national hit back in 1959 for a hard-core Los A...

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Northwest Folklife Festival (Seattle)

The annual Northwest Folklife Festival, held each Memorial Day weekend at Seattle Center, launched in 1972 as a free celebration of folk and ethnic music, dance, and arts. The first event, staged on a...

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Novoselic, Krist (b. 1965)

Krist Novoselic rose from the Pacific Northwest's 1980s underground punk rock scene to earn global fame as bassist with Nirvana -- the most impactful rock 'n' roll band of his generation. In that Aber...

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Orpheum Theatre (Seattle)

Fondly remembered as a fixture of Seattle's downtown, the Orpheum Theatre at 5th Avenue and Stewart Street opened on August 28, 1927. Originally designed to showcase vaudeville and film, the venue was...

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Oscar William Holden: Seattle's Patriarch of Jazz Through the Eyes of a Granddaughter

Oscar William Holden (1886-1969) arrived in Seattle in 1925 and quickly became a central figure in the city's jazz scene, which flourished in the many clubs and nightspots that lined Jackson Street fr...

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Pacific Northwest Ballet

Pacific Northwest Ballet, founded in 1972, is consistently ranked among the leading professional ballet companies in the United States. Since its inception, the company has performed at Seattle Center...

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Paige, Janis (b. 1922)

Singer and actor Janis Paige was born Donna Mae Jaden in Tacoma. She attended Stadium High School, where she studied music and had lead roles in school opera performances. In 1943, two years after gra...

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Paramount Theatre (Seattle)

Built in 1928 at 9th Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle, the Paramount Theatre (originally called the Seattle Theatre) has over its long history brought to town some of the most diverse entert...

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Parker's Ballroom

Seattle's venerable Parker's Ballroom (which opened in 1930 on the "New Seattle-Everett Highway," now known as Aurora Avenue N) held a unique place in Northwest music history. Like a few other local d...

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Paul Robeson's speech to the large crowd gathered to hear him sing at Peace Arch Park on May 18, 1952

Paul Robeson (1898-1976) was a singer, actor, and political activist. This essay contains his remarks made during his historic concert at Peace Arch Park in Blaine, Washington, on the United States/Ca...

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Petosa Accordion Company

The Petosa Accordion Company, started in 1922 by Carlo Petosa (1892-1959) in Seattle, is the only U.S.-owned-and-operated accordion manufacturer. Carlo Petosa built a reputation for crafting his instr...

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Phelps, Donald (1929-2003)

Donald Phelps, educator, singer, and TV commentator, was the grandson of John T. Gayton (1866-1954), one of Seattle's black pioneers. He rose through the ranks, starting as an elementary teacher in Be...

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Postwar Clubs, Integration, and Entertainment at Fort Lewis

Beginning in the early 1920s, Fort Lewis, located in Pierce County south of Tacoma, provided separate clubs where officers, non-commissioned officers, and enlisted personnel could enjoy meals and atte...

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Recording Studios of the Pacific Northwest (1940s-1960s)

The Pacific Northwest is today widely renowned for the music that has been generated in the region over the years -- and increasingly so for the recording studios and audio engineers who actually prod...

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Remembering 1968 by Dale Eldon Lund

For most young men who reached their late teens in the late 1960s, mandatory military service was a looming reality. At the other end of the fun spectrum were the early rock festivals, which, for a ti...

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Rhythm & Roots: Birth of Seattle's First Sound

Long before grunge -- even before "Louie Louie" -- there was a vibrant music scene in Seattle, one that was grounded in the speakeasy culture of the 1920s and nurtured by the wartime boom of the 1940s...

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Riot Grrrl

Olympia found itself on the feminist map in the 1990s when it gave birth to Riot Grrrl, a cultural and political movement started by women fed up with sexism in the punk music scene. Riot Grrrl groups...

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