Although the Boogie Woogie "craze" apparently was sparked by Pete Johnson's 1938 appearance at Carnegie Hall, at John Hammond's legendary "From Spirituals to Swing" series of concerts, it was actually a 1928 recording by Clarence "Pine Top" Smith (cleverly entitled "Pine Top's Boogie Woogie") that first saw that peculiar phrase emblazoned upon a record label. And pretty much ever since, the words "Boogie Woogie" have been an enduring part of the American Lexicon.
In order to "make the cut" into this program, we looked for masterfully and/or joyously executed piano instrumentals, with the one condition that the word "Boogie" be a part of the title. Since we had to draw the line somewhere — arbitrarily excluding pieces with the word "Stomp" or "Breakdown" in them — it seemed like as good a place to start as any. And also, since there were at least a hundred cuts or more that we didn't have time for, you can pretty much bet on a sequel sometime soon.
Over the decades, countless artists have made their own special contributions to the universe of Boogie Woogie piano, and on this program, we celebrate a few of our favorites.
Pictured (from top left): Pete Johnson; Willard McDaniel; Hadda Brooks.
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