The Yardbird

1568 words - 7 pages

Intro Sample...

If you made a list of the best Jazz musicians of all time few would fly higher up that list than Charles "Yardbird" Parker Jr. Parker got the nickname after running over a chicken on the way to a gig and insisting that the “Yardbird” be made for dinner. Parker was an excellent musician living in a dark, cruel world. Drugs, alcohol, and devastation all influenced Parker’s life. But through it all, Parker and his incredible musical ability produced many great achievements.
Born on August 29, 1920 in Kansas City, Kansas, Charlie Parker came just about the same time as jazz was being invented by a new generation of African American musicians. He was born to Charles Parker Sr., a singer and dancer, and Addie Parker, a housewife. Since... View More »

Body Sample...

Charlie went to Chicago hoping to find gigs, although with no money and few connections. It was also around this time that Charlie started experimenting with Heroine and other drugs. After spending a little time experiencing the Chicago Jazz scene, Parker was forced to leave because of money problems. He pawned his friend’s clarinet to buy a bus ticket to New York City. Once there, Parker found Buster and settled there for a short time. While in New York, Parker developed his own style of improvisation, using 9-13 intervals away from the melodic note (Giddins).
Then, in 1939, Charlie joined the Jay McShann Orchestra and toured all over the country. It was when the orchestra was in Wichita, Kansas that Parker made his first recordings. The orchestra made its first record in 1941 with the Decca Record Company and was titled "Hootie Blue”. After vocalists became part of the orchestra, Parker decided in August of 1942 to pursue his own career in New York City. He soon settled in New York and started playing in clubs along 52nd street. This stretch was simply known as "The Street" and ran between 5th and 7th avenues (Peterson).
Parker who was married and divorced for a short time in 1939-40, also had a son in the same relationship. However, after Parker started his solo career, he married his second wife. Once again his marriage suffered because he was devoting all of his time to music and failed to earn a decent living. He soon left his wife, separating instead of divorcing. As work became harder to find, Parker became more and more disturbed. He continued to turn to ...

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