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Old 11-23-2014, 02:47 PM  
gblowfish gblowfish is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
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Highland Cemetery and Bennie Moten

Back when I was at Mizzou in the Stone Age, I took a course called "Jazz, Pop and Rock." It was a history course, and really taught me a lot about American music. It truly was one of the most important classes I ever took, and gave me a great appreciation for all forms of music.

Anyway, in the Jazz section, my professor was always raving about a guy named Bennie Moten, who was the king of KC Jazz in the 1920s. He gave Count Basie his first big break, and Basie took many ex-Moten band members along with him when he started his big band. Moten died at the age of 40 from a botched tonsillectomy.

Moten is buried in a cemetery not far from where Charlie "Bird" Parker is buried. The cemetery is called "Highland" and is not too far from my house, near I-435 and Truman, just about a quarter mile east on top of Blue Ridge overlooking the city.

It was a Negro-only cemetery, and now is owned by Jackson County because the original owners defaulted on taxes. It's in terrible dis-repair. Story in today's KC Star about it. It would be great if the local Jazz Historian community could do something to reclaim this cemetery and clean it up:

http://www.kansascity.com/news/local...le4068242.html
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