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Topic: Music & Musicians

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Rush, Merrilee (b. 1944)

Merrilee Rush was among the most popular homegrown singing stars that the Northwest rock 'n' roll teen scene produced during the mid 1960s. Her trademark low voice and comely looks and an exciting sta...

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Same Love: A Brief History of Queer Musicians in the Northwest

The Northwest music scene has long benefited from the creative spirit and expressive talents of innumerable LGBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) artists. From pop singers and jazz players necess...

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Sayre, James Willis (1877-1963)

J. Willis Sayre was a longtime resident of Seattle -- a journalist, arts promoter, and local historian whose work spanned more than five decades during the city's most explosive period of growth and d...

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Schultz, Cecilia Augspurger (1878-1971)

In an era when show-business impresarios often were caricatured as homburg-hatted men wielding large cigars, Seattle had Cecilia Augspurger Schultz, a woman of august ancestry with her own taste in ha...

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Seafair Records: Seattle's Swingin' '60s Music Company

Of all the Pacific Northwest's pioneering record companies, it was Seafair Records that perhaps best embodied Seattle's innocent early days when a good honest effort would bring success. A true "mom ...

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Seattle Arts Commission/Office of Arts & Culture

The Seattle Arts Commission was formed in 1971. The commission evolved out of the Municipal Arts Commission, founded in 1955 with the aim of integrating artistic experiences into Seattleites' daily li...

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Seattle Bandstand, KING-TV (1958-1961)

Seattle Bandstand was a televised teen-dance show modeled after Dick Clark's national program, American Bandstand and hosted by Ray Briem (b. 1930). The Northwest version is an instant favorite of Nor...

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Seattle JazzED: A Seattle Music Education Organization

Seattle JazzED is a privately funded non-profit organization founded in 2010 and dedicated to providing an excellent music education to Seattle-area students regardless of their ability to pay. The st...

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Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Arts Education: Road to The Creative Advantage

This is a snapshot history of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture's leadership in providing quality arts education to students in Seattle public schools. The Office of Arts & Culture was established ...

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Smith, Harry Everett (1923-1991)

Dubbed by one interviewer an "intellectual mischief-maker," artist Harry Smith was a man of varied interests who was alternately an anthropologist, ethnomusicologist, abstract painter, experimental f...

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Song-Catchers: Documenting the Music of Northwest Indians

Music played a deeply spiritual role in the lives of the Pacific Northwest's First Peoples for eons prior to the beginning of recorded time. Much of this age-old music has survived by being passed dow...

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Sonics, The: Tacoma's '60s Garage-Rock Teen Titans

The improbable "career" arc of Tacoma's Sonics is that of a teen combo who pounded their way to the top ranks of Northwest rock bands by 1965 -- and then crumbled in the psychedelic musical aftermath ...

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Spanish Castle Ballroom (Seattle)

The most fabled dancehall in Seattle's history was, ironically, not even located in Seattle. And that odd geographic detail is a defining aspect of the Spanish Castle Ballroom. When constructed in 193...

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Stuart, Alice (b. 1942)

Alice Stuart is a singer, guitarist, and songwriter whose old-timey, folk-blues style earned her a decades-long career and an enduring fanbase. From the tiny burg of Chelan, Washington, she worked her...

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The Leonard Gayton Family

This People's History relates the history of the Leonard Gayton family. The jazz drummer, jazz singer, and band leader Leonard Gayton (1908-1982) was the fourth child of the early African American res...

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The Satsop River Fair and Tin Cup Races (1971)

The Satsop River Fair and Tin Cup Races started its troubled four-day run on Friday, September 3, 1971, as the first "legal" outdoor rock festival in Washington after passage of a state law regulating...

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The Showbox (Seattle)

Founded in 1939 as the Show Box, Seattle's historic Showbox Ballroom (1426 1st Avenue) is one of the town's very few extant entertainment venues that can lay claim to having provided local music fans ...

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Thomas, Harvey (1920-1987)

Harvey Vern Thomas (1920-1987) led an active and multi-faceted life as a musician, a machinist, a businessman -- and a notoriously fun-loving prankster. But it was his role as the luthier responsible ...

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Tipton, Billy (1914-1989)

The otherwise low-key life story of Billy Tipton -- an obscure jazz pianist who worked out of Spokane, Washington, for 40 years -- took a startling plot twist upon his death on January 21, 1989. A few...

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Trimpin (b. 1951)

Gerhard Trimpin -- known since the 1960s by the single moniker Trimpin -- is an internationally acclaimed composer, musician, visual artist, and inventor. A native of Germany who has lived in Seattle ...

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Tutmarc, Paul (1896-1972), and his Audiovox Electric Guitars

At the dawn of the 1930s a radical new class of musical instrument -- electrified and amplified -- was introduced to the world by a few pioneering companies across America. And although electric guita...

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Tutmarc-Johnson, Paula (1950-2013)

A Northwest songster of note, Paula Tutmarc-Johnson was born into Northwest music royalty. Her father was 1920s Seattle radio star, pioneering 1930s electric-guitar maker, music teacher, and bandleade...

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Werner, August Hansen (1893-1980)

Born and raised in Norway, August Werner moved to Brooklyn, New York, as a young man and made a name for himself as a singer in both the Norwegian American and wider musical communities. By 1931, havi...

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White, Glenn Dresie (1933-2014)

Glenn White -- like his father before him -- possessed a knack for deducing the mysteries of electricity and the material sciences. And advanced schooling allowed the polymath son to pursue an incredi...

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