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Jazz and Rail: A 100-Year Musical Landmark

Written by David Peter Alan, Contributing Editor

Exactly a century ago, on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 1920, diversity in music took a giant leap forward. The occasion was the first recording session that featured a black popular singer, backed up by a jazz band from Harlem, performing the first record widely accepted as an example of the blues. That event changed the music business forever, and reinforced the universal kinship felt by everyone who plays jazz, or has a serious interest in it. It is not unlike the kinship shared among those of us who are serious about our trains, our transit, and the policies and procedures that keep them in service.

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