Diving into Some Jive Talk | WBEZ
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Eight Forty-Eight

Diving into Some Jive Talk

Jive talking is the jazz era lingo that along with jazz music has some deep roots in Chicago. A record of jive talk lives on thanks to Dan Burley, a renaissance man of the 1930s and '40s. Burley was a musician and writer who wrote for both the Chicago Defender and Jet Magazine. He's also the guy who coined the term bebop. Burly truly loved the turns of phrase of that era's jazz fans, so much so that he compiled not one but two jive dictionaries that spread the lingo across the country. Those two books, The Original Handbook of Harlem Jive and Diggeth Thou? have now been combined into one volume by University of Louisiana history professor Thomas Aiello. Aiello explains the history of jive talking.

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