Dangerous Rhythms – part 2

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Journalist, screenwriter, and New York Times bestselling author TJ English chats with Trey Elling about DANGEROUS RHYTHMS: JAZZ AND THE UNDERWORLD. In the second of a two-part conversation with TJ, topics include:

  • Jazz thriving through the Great Depression (0:15)
  • How gangsters “mobbed up” jukeboxes during the Great Depression (2:40)
  • Frank Sinatra as the main figure in the book’s second half (4:40)
  • Sinatra’s mom providing him an ‘in’ with the Hoboken, NJ mafia (6:16)
  • Frank using the mob to help settle a disputes with a fellow, and former, band members (7:36)
  • How the mafia had pay those favors back (12:21)
  • Why heroin became so popular with jazz musicians at the start of World War II (19:33)
  • The Times Square joint Birdland as perhaps the most mobbed up club in history (23:56)
  • How 1950s Havana, Cuba was different from other mob-run jazz scenes (29:45)
  • Miles Davis reinvigorating US jazz in the late 1950s (32:50)
  • Sinatra having the mob give JFK a boost in the 1960 presidential election (38:44)
  • When and why the relationship between jazz and gangsters fizzled (44:25)