O. O. McIntyre // No visiting potentate has received a more rousing reception upon arriving in America than did Paul Whiteman, the jazz band king, upon his return from Europeans triumphs. A delegation of 1,000 prominent citizens went down the bay in a chartered ship.
Huge bombing planes carrying jazz bands circled over the ship upon which Whiteman arrived. It was Broadway’s tribute to jazz. It pokes fun at it—but jazz is essentially a big part of Broadway now. It has helped make it what is is today.
Whiteman has had an extraordinary career. He comes from a musical family in Colorado and drifted out to Los Angeles where, after an up and down career, he formed a hotel orchestra. About four years ago he was brought to New York to play at the Palais Royal—then having a period of rough sledding.
The band caught on and Whiteman incorporated himself and now has nearly 30 Whiteman bands playing in various parts of the country. He is said to have an income of nearly $100,000 a year.
His success in London was even greater than that in New York and Whiteman hobnobbed with royalty. He is a big footer with a boyish, contagious smile and success has not swelled his head.
Each member of the original organization he founded is with him. There is not a man in the band, what with sharing in the phonograph record sales and extra engagements, who does not make $300 a week or more.
There are those who predicted jazz would go the way of the maxixe and other popular diversions of the moment but along Broadway they will tell you that this form of syncopation is more popular than ever. Jazz is still king.
Syndicated column, August 28, 1923